Courtesy University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
After finishing as Heartland Conference Tournament runner-up last season, the UAFS baseball team has been picked to finish third in the conference in the preseason poll.
The Diamond Lions, who finished fourth in the conference regular season last year, received 71 total points in the voting by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Three-time defending regular-season champion St. Mary’s University is the unanimous favorite to win the conference. The Rattlers, who beat the Diamond Lions in the conference tournament title game last season to earn a trip to the South Central Region Tournament, received 98 total points and all 14 first-place votes.
St. Edward’s University, which finished second in the conference regular season last year, was again picked to finish second, receiving 83 points.
Newman University, which finished third in the conference regular season last year, was picked fourth, receiving 50 points in the voting. Texas A&M International was fifth (42 points), followed by the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (33) and Oklahoma Panhandle State (15).
UAFS will open the regular season on Friday, Feb. 1, against St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.