LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. --- Two Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball squads cracked the top five in the D3baseball.com/National College Baseball Writers Association Preseason Top 25 poll. Texas Lutheran came in third and Trinity followed in fourth in the poll that was voted on by a panel of 25 Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country.
Texas Lutheran, the defending SCAC champions, went 42-12 a year ago and made a run to the NCAA Division III national championship series before falling to University of Texas-Tyler.
On its way to that best-of-three national title series, TLU downed several of this year's preseason ranked opponents including top-ranked Wooster, seventh-ranked Swathmore and 10th-ranked Concordia-Chicago.
The Bulldogs return both senior right-handed pitcher Nathan Malinovsky and junior outfielder Tyler Cauley, who were each named D3baseball.com Preseason All-Americans last week.
Last season Malinovsky was a First Team All-America selection by both D3baseball.com and the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings, and Cauley earned Third Team honors from both organizations.
Trinity, who received two first-place votes in the preseason national poll, went 33-9 last season and made it the second round of the SCAC tournament before being knocked out by Centenary.
Highlighting this year's returnees for the Tigers are junior outfielder Rafe Chaumette and senior pitcher Jeff Lonnecker, who each earned ABCA and D3baseball.com All-West Region accolades a season ago.
The SCAC baseball schedule opens on February 2nd when Dallas takes on Sul Ross State. Both Trinity and Texas Lutheran open their seasons on February 9th when the Tigers host eighth-ranked SUNY-Cortland for a double header and the Bulldogs travel to Arkansas to take on Hendrix College.