The EMU baseball men have been picked 11th out of 12 schools in the ODAC Preseason Poll as they continue to build on the groundwork that was in place last season. The Royals have ten seniors on the team that look to provide leadership to a youthful and experienced team that loses two-time ODAC First Team selection Damon Frazier, who played an important role pitching and swinging the bat for the Royals the previous two seasons.
EMU received 24 points as voted on by the coaches, placing them in between Guilford and Emory & Henry. Randolph-Macon topped the poll after making a World Series appearance last season with the reigning ODAC champion, Shenandoah, coming in second. Ferrum is a newcomer to the ODAC this year and sits sixth in the preseason standings.
Returning for the Royals is All-ODAC Second Team member Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) who batted .314 with 18 runs and 12 RBI in his freshman season. Outfielders Daniel Scott (Moneta, Va./Staunton River) and Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) look to provide power in the lineup combining for 26 extra base hits including seven home runs last year. Zach Roberts (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) enters his fourth season as a starting infielder with a .325 career batting average after missing the second half of last season due to injury. Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) and Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) are expected to anchor the pitching staff this year.
The Royals finished the 2018 campaign 15-24 and 6-14 in conference play, finishing tied for ninth in the conference with Washington and Lee.
EMU opens their season with three games on the road at North Carolina Wesleyan this weekend. The Royals play a doubleheader on Saturday consisting of two seven innings games beginning at 11:00am then play one nine inning game on Sunday at 1:00pm. The Royals play their home opener the following weekend in a doubleheader against Penn St. - Altoona starting at noon.
The first weekend of the eight-team ODAC Tournament is May 3-5 which will include four best-of-three series that will be played at the top four seeds. This season the championship site hosting the four winners will meet at Salem Memorial Ballpark in Salem, Va. the following weekend, May 10-12, for a double-elimination tournament to determine the ODAC champion.
For more information on ODAC baseball, visit the website of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
2019 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Randolph-Macon College (9) - 119 pts.
2. Shenandoah University (2) - 110 pts.
3. Roanoke College (1) - 96 pts.
4. Virginia Wesleyan University - 95 pts.
5. Hampden-Sydney College - 76 pts.
6. Ferrum College - 71 pts.
7. University of Lynchburg - 57 pts.
8. Washington and Lee University - 46 pts.
9. Bridgewater College - 42 pts.
10. Guilford College - 38 pts.
11. Eastern Mennonite University - 24 pts.
12. Emory & Henry College - 18 pts.