Baseball Chosen as USA South Preseason Favorite

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- The Covenant baseball team, under the direction of eighth-year head coach Doug Simons, has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the USA South Athletic Conference, as voted on by the league's 10 head coaches.

The Scots are coming off a 28-19 season in which they set the program's modern era record for victories and made a trip to the NCCAA World Series for the first time. Covenant received three of the 10 first place votes and 67 total points.

North Carolina Wesleyan picked up two first place votes and 63 points for second, while Methodist, Piedmont and Huntingdon rounded out the top five. Huntingdon also received three first place tallies.

Covenant is in its first season of competing in the USA South and as full members of NCAA Division III. The Scots also received five votes in the preseason Top 25 by D3Baseball.com.

Covenant returns seven position starters from last season, including leading hitters Scott Gillespie, David Lockwood and Will Cleland. The pitching rotation also brings back a strong group with top starters Micah Mabe (second team NCCAA All-American in 2013), Garrett Kriston and Alhanon Miller all returning.

There will be no USA South Conference tournament this season. The team atop the final conference standings will earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Covenant will open the season on February 18 in Rome, Ga., against Bates (Maine) College.

For the complete USA South release, click here

2014 USA South Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Rank

Institution (1st Place Votes)

Pts.

1.

Covenant (3)

67

2.

N.C. Wesleyan (2)

63

3.

Methodist (1)

60

4.

Piedmont

58

5.

Huntingdon (3)

51

6.

Averett

49

7.

Maryville (1)

46

8.

Ferrum

23

9.

LaGrange

20

10.

Greensboro

13