CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team is a preseason pick to finish in sixth place in the Big South’s Southern Division in 2014. The preseason poll, voted on by the league’s coaches, was released on Wednesday.
Liberty is the preseason favorite to win the North Division with Coastal Carolina earning the plaudit for the South Division.
The Flames received six first-place votes to garner 62 points from the panel to finish ahead of Campbell, who notched six top bids and 59 points. Radford was picked third with 51 points and High Point landed at the No. 4 spot with 38 points. Longwood’s 28 points was good for fifth, while VMI rounded out the North Division with 14 points.
Coastal Carolina was a unanimous selection to win the South Division as it received all 12 first-place votes and 72 points. Gardner-Webb placed second with 56 points and Charleston Southern came in at No. 3 with 45 points. Winthrop found itself at No. 4 with 34 points, ahead of Presbyterian College’s 26 points. UNC Asheville closed out the voting in the South Division with 19 points.
“We hope to finish higher than where we’re picked,” stated Bulldog coach Tom Smith. “Our league is very good. We sent two teams to the NCAA Tournament and nearly sent three last season.
“Our guys worked hard in the fall, and we’re working hard right now,” added Smith “I like what this team has to offer, and we’re going to surprise some people this year.”
The Bulldogs open the 2014 season a home on Friday, Feb. 14 when they host Delaware State at Greenwood Field starting at 3 p.m. Asheville opens league play at Presbyterian College on March 14.
The 2014 Big South Baseball Championship is slated for Tuesday-Saturday, May 20-24 at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C.
2014 Baseball Preseason Poll
North Division (first-place votes) Points
1. Liberty (6) - 62
2. Campbell (6) - 59
3. Radford - 51
4. High Point - 38
5. Longwood - 28
6. VMI - 14
South Division (first-place votes) Points
1. Coastal Carolina (12) - 72
2. Gardner-Webb - 56
3. Charleston Southern - 45
4. Winthrop - 34
5. Presbyterian - 26
6. UNC Asheville - 19