TUCSON, Ariz. - The Trinity University baseball team has been ranked No. 5 in the nation by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Division III Preseason Poll. Additionally, Texas Lutheran University received votes in the opening polls of 2014.
Trinity, led by 16th-year Head Coach Tim Scannell, will have the services of two All-Americans, outfielder Pat Hirschberg and pitcher Zack Speer.
The Tigers completed the campaign with a 40-9 record, which established a school mark for victories in a season. Trinity captured a seventh Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship under the leadership of Coach Scannell, and the eighth overall. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Playoffs for the eighth time, and for the fourth consecutive year.
The scrappy Tiger team fought its way to the Austin (Texas) Regional final before losing to eventual national champion Linfield. It marked the fifth time Trinity competed in the Regional final matchup.
Texas Lutheran moves over to the SCAC from the ASC and are led by Head Coach Greg Burnett in his seventh season. They come off a breakthrough 33-14 record which included an ASC West Title, going 16-2 in conference.
They punched their ticket into the NCAA Tournament, their first time in the championships since 2007 and competed in the West Regional in Austin along with Trinity, though the two did not meet up.
The Bulldogs lose All-American Sean Kistler as well as All-Region Jeff Spillane, but return great talent including top hitter Klaus Bohrmann and starter Aaron Aleman.
Trinity opens the 2014 season Feb. 7 by hosting the 11th-ranked University of Texas-Tyler, a team which the Tigers beat in the Regional Tournament. TLU will also open on the 7th, taking on Chapman at home.
To see the full 2014 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Rankings, click here.