The EMU Diamond Royals have been picked 10th out of 12 schools in the ODAC Preseason Poll. The Royals graduated nine seniors a year ago, but return four All-ODAC selections as first year head coach Adam Posey looks to continue last season's success into a new era.
EMU received 35 points as voted on by the coaches, placing them in between Washington and Lee and Guilford. Randolph-Macon topped the poll with the reigning ODAC Tournament champion, Shenandoah, coming in a tie for second with Roanoke.
The Royals finished the 2019 campaign 16-23-1 and 10-12 in ODAC play, finishing eighth in the conference after winning eight of their last twelve conference games to earn a bid in the ODAC Tournament.
Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) returns for the Royals after All-ODAC and All-State honors a season ago. Lee batted .320 while leading the team in home runs (10) and RBI (42). All-ODAC Second Team selections Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) and Jordan Jones (Saxe, Va./Randolph Henry) also return as two key hitters in the EMU lineup. Tricarico claimed the team batting title hitting .409 on the season while driving in 22 runs with eight doubles. Jones batted .352 and scored 23 runs. Connor Lutz (Colonial Beach, Va./Colonial Beach) and Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) look to anchor the pitching staff as the top innings pitched leaders last season.
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 Southern Virginia starting at noon.
The first weekend of the eight-team ODAC Tournament is May 1-3 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 8-10, 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.
2020 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Randolph-Macon College (7) - 114 pts.
2. Shenandoah University (3) - 100 pts.
2. Roanoke College - 100 pts.
4. Virginia Wesleyan University (1) - 98 pts.
5. University of Lynchburg (1) - 83 pts.
6. Hampden-Sydney College - 73 pts.
7. Ferrum College - 68 pts.
8. Bridgewater College - 44 pts.
9. Washington and Lee University - 36 pts.
10. Eastern Mennonite University - 35 pts.
11. Guilford College - 29 pts.
12. Emory & Henry College - 12 pts.