RICHARDSON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team was picked for eighth place in the 12-team Lone Star Conference’s preseason poll, released Thursday by the LSC office.
Defending champion Abilene Christian, which went 44-17 overall and 35-7 in the LSC, was favored to repeat its title. The Wildcats drew 19 of 28 first-place votes and collected 324 points in voting by conference coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.
Angelo State was second with 290 points and earned four first-place votes, while Central Oklahoma was third with 261 points and two first-place votes. Rounding out the poll were Southeastern Oklahoma, Cameron, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Tarleton State, ENMU, Northeastern State, Southwestern Oklahoma, East Central and West Texas A&M.
Texas A&M-Kingsville had two first-place votes and Southwestern Oklahoma got one.
For the second consecutive season, teams play a 44-game LSC schedule that includes four-game series against each foe. The conference has gone from a four-game, three-day series to doubleheaders — mostly Friday and Saturday — with a seven-inning game to be followed by a nine-inning contest both days.
Six teams qualify for the LSC post-season tournament, schedule for May 5. Last year, ENMU missed out on a tournament berth by finishing seventh, one-half game behind Texas A&M-Kingsville — which ended up winning the tournament.
Senior outfielder Cody Pearce of Southeastern Oklahoma was named the LSC preseason player of the year. He committed two earrors in 2008 while posting a .403 batting average and a conference-leading 31 stolen bases.
Central Oklahoma’s Christ Straka was the preseason pitcher of the year after going 11-1 with a conference-leading 2.19 earned run average.
LSC PRESEASON POLL
Team (1st-place votes) Pts
1. Abilene Christian (19) 324
2. Angelo State (4) 290
3. Central Oklahoma (2) 261
4. Southeastern Oklahoma 245
5. Cameron 228
6. Texas A&M-Kingsville (2) 211
7. Tarleton State 151
8. Eastern New Mexico 145
9. Northeatern State 126
10. Southwestern Oklahoma (1) 84
11. East Central 67
12. West Texas A&M 52