LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland baseball was picked fourth in the Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Friday by the league office.
The Phoenix were tied for fourth with Lindsey Wilson and just one point behind Georgetown College for third place in the vote of league coaches. Woody Hunt returns for his 37th year as head coach and 39th season overall at Cumberland, sporting a 1,529-695-5 record, tops among active coaches in the NAIA.
Seniors Rayden Sierra and Hector Morales return to lead the offense that averaged 6.2 runs per game in 2017. Sierra batted .360 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 50 RBIs while Morales posted a .319 average with 12 doubles, seven homers and 38 RBIs.
Senior Nick Mira also batted .300 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 21 RBIs in 49 contests last season.
Seniors Travis Dohr and Curtis Hoppe lead the returning pitchers, with Dohr collecting seven wins and two saves in 15 appearances, tossing a team-high 81.2 innings. Hoppe struggled at times and was also tough-luck loser on other occasions last year, finishing 2-7 with 86 strikeouts in 66.1 innings.
Cumberland must replace Second Team All-American Austin Krajnak, who belted 20 home runs with 62 RBIs and 12 doubles while batting .390, as well as First Team All-Mid-South Conference performer Kevin Connolly (.302, 13 doubles, six homers, 32 RBIs).
Campbellsville University received six first-place votes and 46 total points for first place in the poll, with the University of the Cumberlands in second with two first-place votes and 42 total points. Georgetown College was next with 32 points, followed by Lindsey Wilson and Cumberland both with 31 points.
The University of Pikeville, Shawnee State and Kentucky Christian rounded out the poll.
Cumberland opens the 2018 season with a three-game series at Reinhardt University on February 2-3 and begins home action Feb. 14 versus Bethel University at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.
2017 Mid-South Conference
Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll
|No.||School (First-Place Votes)||Points||2017 Record|
|1.||Campbellsville University (6)||46||39-23, 13-5|
|2.||University of the Cumberlands (2)||42||43-17, 12-6|
|3.||Georgetown College||32||32-19, 9-9|
|t4.||Cumberland University||31||26-29, 7-11|
|t4.||Lindsey Wilson||31||27-25, 10-8|
|6.||University of Pikeville||19||27-24, 6-12|
|6.||Shawnee State||14||14-25, 6-12|