FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- The Covenant baseball team, under ninth-year head coach Doug Simons, has been picked to finish second in the USA South by the conference's 11 head coaches in the preseason poll, announced the league on Wednesday.
Nationally, Covenant received four votes in the D3baseball.com Preseason Top 25 which was also released on Wednesday. Other USA South members Huntingdon and Piedmont also received votes in the poll.
In the USA South poll, Covenant picked up three first place votes and 93 total points, but it was Ferrum that edged out the Scots as the preseason favorite. The Panthers garnered seven first place votes and 94 total points.
The Scots are the defending USA South regular season champions. Both Covenant and Ferrum finished with identical 19-8 conference records a season ago, but the Scots earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of their series win over the Panthers in early April.
Piedmont (82 points), Methodist (74) and Huntingdon (65) round out the top five in the poll. Piedmont tallied one first place vote.
Covenant returns six players who were named to All-USA South teams in 2014. In all, the Scots return six position starters and three starting pitchers from last season.
Covenant opens the 2015 season at home on Feb. 6 against Emory & Henry.