FOREST, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Baseball Team has been picked to finish 10th this year in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular season, ODAC officials announced Thursday. The poll is voted on by the head coaches of the league's baseball programs.
Under the direction of Head Coach Trey McCall, now in his 12th year, Emory & Henry returns 19 position players and 10 pitchers from last year's squad. The Wasps also welcome 13 freshmen to the team, several of whom will be asked to step up and contribute early in their careers. As always, pitching will be a key factor and E&H has 17 players on the roster who could see time on the mound.
Leading the returners are junior first baseman Carson Bryant (Hickory, N.C.) and junior shortstop Holden Watkins (Ridgeway, Va.), who were selected to the All-ODAC Second and Third Teams, respectively last season. Back to pitch for the Wasps are seniors Garrett Butler (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Nick Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn.) and sophomore Gavin Felty (Bristol, Va.) who combined for eight of the team's 10 wins a year ago.
Randolph-Macon College is picked to repeat as the conference champion, earning three first-place votes. The Yellow Jackets, along with the Hornets of Shenandoah University, both made deep runs in the NCAA Division III Tournament a year ago. SU is second in the poll with three first-place votes while Washington and Lee University earned the final three top nods and is third. Virginia Wesleyan College rounds out the top four.
Emory & Henry will begin the 2017 season with a three-game series at Covenant College. The season opener will be Friday, February 10 at 2:00 p.m. with a seven-inning doubleheader to follow on Saturday, February 11 at noon. The Wasps' first home games will be on Saturday, February 25 as they host Johnson University in a pair of seven-inning games at noon. E&H opens ODAC play on Saturday, March 11, visiting Randolph-Macon.
For more information about ODAC Baseball and to learn about each of the league's 11 teams, click HERE.
2017 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
|(#) Denotes First-Place Votes|
|1. Randolph-Macon (5)||91 pts.|
|2. Shenandoah (3)||89 pts.|
|3. Washington and Lee (3)||80 pts.|
|4. Virginia Wesleyan
|8. Eastern Mennonite
|10. Emory & Henry