2017 SCAC BASEBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

The head baseball coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference voted for a preseason predicted order of finish. Seven points were awarded for a first-place vote, six points for a second-place, down to one point for a seventh-place vote. The following is the results of that preseason balloting.

PRESEASON #7

AUSTIN COLLEGE

Austin College begins the 2017 season as the seventh choice in the annual preseason coaches' poll. Coming off a 13-25 campaign (2-16 in the SCAC), the 'Roos are seeking their first SCAC postseason tournament appearance since the 2013 season. Third-year head coach Mike Ramsey returns seven of nine positional starters from a year ago, and has added depth with 10 freshmen on the preseason roster.

PRESEASON #6

SCHREINER UNIVERSITY

Schreiner University (12-28 overall; 5-13 SCAC) is predicted to finish sixth in the SCAC in 2017, a year after finishing the regular season in that same position. Despite missing out on the conference tournament last season, the Mountaineers did rally late in the year to win three of its last five conference games and five of eight overall - including taking series from both Austin College and Hardin-Simmons. Head Coach Ryan Brisbin will guide a young squad this season, with just two seniors and a combined 13 first- or second-year players on the roster.

PRESEASON #5

UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS

Entering his third season at the helm of the University of Dallas, Joe Myers is hoping to guide the team to its first SCAC postseason appearance since 2013. Last season, the Crusaders finished fifth in the conference with a mark of 12-28 (8-10 in the SCAC) and are tabbed to finish in that position again in 2017 based on the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Dallas ended the 2016 campaign on an upswing, taking 2 of 3 games from then 18th-ranked Centenary. Entering the spring, almost half of the 2016 starting lineup needs to be replaced but an influx of 12 first-year players should help shore up any depth issues.

PRESEASON #4

CENTENARY COLLEGE

Under the direction of seventh-year head coach Mike Diaz, Centenary College enters the 2017 season as the fourth choice among the coaches in the league's preseason poll. The Gents, who finished with an overall mark of 26-13 (10-8 SCAC) in 2016, return more First or Second Team All-SCAC performers than any other team in the league (four) and are seeking the program's fifth straight postseason conference tournament appearance. With a veteran core and an influx of nine first-year players, Centenary will be a strong contender to play on championship Sunday for the third time in five years.

PRESEASON #3

SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Coming off the program's first conference championship game appearance in 12 years, Southwestern University is the coaches' third choice entering the 2017 campaign. The Pirates posted an 18-25 record last season (10-8 SCAC), but won 11 of their last 17 games and advanced to the SCAC title game for the first time since 2004 before falling to eventual national champion Trinity. Head coach R.J. Thomas returns five positional starters from last year's title game squad and, along with the depth provided by nine incoming freshmen, hopes to keep pushing the program closer to where it was in 2004 when Southwestern baseball was coming off nine consecutive championship game appearances and five conference titles.

PRESEASON #2

TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY

The coaches' second choice, Texas Lutheran University comes off a 2016 season that produced a 14-4 conference mark and a SCAC regular season co-championship - its first since joining the conference prior to the 2014 season. In addition to the acknowledgement by the conference's head coaches, TLU is receiving national recognition heading into the 2017 campaign as the Bulldogs, led by 10th-year head coach Greg Burnett, are ranked No. 10 in Collegiate Baseball's Top 40 Preseason Poll and No. 21 in the D3baseball.com Preseason Top 25. Texas Lutheran posted a 26-15 overall mark a year ago and proved it could play with the best in the country as it handed eventual NCAA Division III national champion Trinity three of the team's seven losses. The Bulldogs return four position starters and two pitching starters for 2017.

PRESEASON #1

TRINITY UNIVERSITY

Returning to the diamond in 2017, Trinity University not only seeks to defend its SCAC tournament title (the fourth straight for the program) but also the national crown it won after sweeping through the NCAA Regional and the Division III World Series - culminated with a 10-7 victory over Keystone College in the title game. Head Coach Tim Scannell, who earned National Coach of the Year honors from four different organizations last season, will field a team that will look much different than the 44-7 squad (14-4 SCAC) that captured the program's first-ever national championship. Gone are 17 seniors, including every positional starter, but with approximately 20 returning players who saw quality playing time a season ago, the cupboard is far from empty in San Antonio. Trinity enters the 2017 season ranked No. 7 in the D3baseball.com Preseason Top 25 and No. 11 in the Collegiate Baseball's Top 40 Preseason Poll.

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