FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
FRISCO, Texas – Texas State is favored to win its third consecutive Southland Conference regular-season baseball championship by a vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, the conference announced Tuesday.
The Bobcats received nine first-place votes and 118 points in the coaches’ poll and eight first-place votes and 112 points in the SID poll. Texas State returns 20 letterwinners, six starters and 12 pitchers, including junior Carson Smith, the Southland’s pitcher and newcomer of the year recipient, from a Bobcat squad that won its second consecutive regular-season title. Texas State went 23-10 in conference play last spring, recording its fourth 20-win season in conference play in the last five years.
Southeastern Louisiana was picked second in both polls. The Lions received one first-place vote and 99 points in the coaches’ poll and two first-place votes and 103 points in the SID poll.
The second-, third- and fourth-place teams in both polls are separated by less than 10 points.
Lamar, the defending Southland tournament champion, was picked third in the coaches’ poll with one first-place vote and 96 points. The Cardinals were selected fourth in the SID poll with 92 points.
Northwestern State was chosen fourth in the coaches’ poll with one first-place vote and 91 total points. The Demons were picked third in the SID poll with two first-place votes and 97 points.
In the coaches’ poll, Stephen F. Austin and McNeese State were picked fifth and sixth, respectively. One year removed from three consecutive Southland tournament titles, Sam Houston State was tabbed seventh followed by UTSA in eighth and UT Arlington in ninth. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Nicholls and Central Arkansas round out the coaches poll.
SIDs picked SFA fifth, but McNeese and UTSA each collected 64 points to tie for sixth. Sam Houston State and UT Arlington were picked eighth and ninth, respectively, while and Nicholls, A&M-Corpus Christi and Central Arkansas were picked in that order to fill the SID poll.
Opening day of the Southland season is Feb. 18 with conference play beginning March 6.The Southland Conference tournament will be played May 25-28 at the Bobcat Baseball Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.
|1.||Texas State (9)||118|
|2.||Southeastern Louisiana (1)||99|
|4.||Northwestern State (1)||91|
|5.||Stephen F. Austin||82|
|7.||Sam Houston State||61|
|10.||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||27|
|Sports Information Directors|
|1.||Texas State (8)||112|
|2.||Southeastern Louisiana (2)||103|
|3.||Northwestern State (2)||97|
|5.||Stephen F. Austin||81|
|8.||Sam Houston State||58|
|Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||25|