Story courtesy: Angelo State Athletics
Angelo State is the top pick to claim the league title in the 2021 Lone Star Conference baseball preseason poll announced on Wednesday.
The league’s preseason poll reflects the opinions of LSC head coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives throughout the region.
ASU earned the top spot in the poll with 428 total points including 23 of 34 first-place votes. The Rams went 19-3 last season and were sitting second in the conference standings before the baseball season was cut short due to COVID-19.
UT Tyler was picked to finish second in the poll earning six first-place votes and 396 total points. The Patriots were 20-3 and in first place in 2020 when the season was halted.
West Texas A&M finished just behind UTT in third place with 392 points. The Buffs earned four first-place votes in the poll after they finished 2020 with a record of 17-6.
Texas A&M-Kingsville was picked to finish fourth this season earning 300 points and one first-place nod. The Javelinas were followed by a tight group of St. Mary’s in fifth place with 275 points, UAFS in sixth (274), and St. Edward’s seventh (272).
Lubbock Christian earned 212 points in eighth while Oklahoma Christian (171) and UT Permian Basin (143) rounded out the top 10.
Cameron, Texas A&M International and Eastern New Mexico completed the preseason poll.
Angelo State’s Josh Elvir was tabbed as the LSC Preseason Player of the Year and teammate Trent Baker earned LSC Preseason Pitcher of the Year honors.
Elvir, a senior outfielder from Kemah, Texas, started all 22 games for Angelo State and led the conference in several statistical categories including batting average (.438), slugging percentage (1.027), on-base percentage (.607), runs scored (44), RBI (30), home runs (11) and doubles (10). Elvir led all of Division II in the shortened season in slugging percentage, home runs and runs scored.
Baker, a junior starting pitcher from Georgetown, Texas, made six appearances and earned a 5-1 record for the Rams in 2020. Baker registered a 3.13 earned run average over 37.1 innings and allowed just 25 hits and 8 walks while striking out 48 batters and allowing opponents to hit just .188 against him. The junior recorded double-digit strikeouts in two starts and finished in the top five in the LSC in opponent batting average, strikeouts and wins.
The 2021 season begins on January 29 with 13 LSC teams playing a single round-robin schedule with a three-game weekend series against each league opponent.
The LSC Championship will be a two-week tournament featuring eight teams with the opening round on campus on May 7-9. The winners of each opening round series will advance to a double-elimination tournament played May 13-15. The winner of the postseason tournament will be recognized as the LSC Tournament Champion and receive the conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA postseason.