Kansas City, MO – The University of the Cumberlands Baseball team enters the 2019 campaign coming off one of the most successful seasons in Patriots history. Going 47-11 last season, the Patriots earned the Mid-South Conference Regular Season Championship for the fourth time since 2004. They also hosted a NAIA World Series Opening Round group for the first time in school history. Now, Cumberlands prepares themselves for another strong season in the MSC and the NAIA as this year's preseason poll was released and UC earned recognition.
UC received 183 total voting points which was good for #19 in the NAIA in this year's NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll, officials announced on Tuesday. UC is one of two Mid-South Conference teams to earn mention in the poll as 2018 MSC Tournament Champion Campbellsville comes in at #14 with 274 voting points.
NAIA National Champions Southeastern University received all 18 first-place votes and 498 total points to sit atop the preseason poll. Other notable teams ranked include Faulkner (#4), Tennessee Wesleyan (#12), Bryan (#15), and Reinhardt (#20). Indiana Southeast, Cumberland University, Madonna, and Point University all are also receiving votes in this edition of the poll.
Cumberlands was also picked as the runner-up in the Mid-South Conference preseason poll with two first-place votes and 31 total points. Campbellsville was picked as the favorite with five first-place votes and 35 total points. S
Head Coach Brad Shelton commented, "It's nice to be recognized in the preseason poll. I think it's more of a reflection of what we've been able to do over the past few seasons. This is a new year and a different team. The MSC is so competitive that you can't fall back on previous successes. This group is talented, but we know we have to put in the work to be successful. It's going to be a fun year watching this group come together."
The Patriots open up the 2019 season on February 2nd and 3rd with a three-game series against the Crusaders of Madonna University at Doyle Buhl Stadium in Williamsburg. Friday's season opener is scheduled for 3 pm.