Demons picked fifth in Southland preseason poll

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The Northwestern State baseball team gathers following a game in the 2019 season. Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Southland Conference baseball coaches and sports information directors have tabbed Northwestern State to finish fifth in the league in the 2020 season.

 

Natchitoches Wood

The Demons, coming off a second straight 30-win season, were slotted in the upper half of the league, 50 points behind fourth-place Southeastern Louisiana but 47 points clear of sixth-place Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

 

Defending regular-season champion Sam Houston State was chosen to repeat, taking 17 of the 26 first-place votes while Central Arkansas (five first-place votes) and tournament champion McNeese (one first-place vote) were slotted second and third, respectively. Southeastern Louisiana (three first-place votes) and the Demons round out the top five.

 

Northwestern State returns five starting position players from its 30-25 team of 2019, including preseason second-team All-Southland Conference outfielder Tyler Smith. Northwestern State reached the Southland Conference Tournament for the second straight season and the fifth time in the past six years.

The Demons open the season Feb. 14 at home against Wichita State in a three-game series. First pitch for the opener is set for 6:30 p.m.

 

2020 Southland Conference Baseball Preseason Poll

  1. Sam Houston State (17)                 276
  2. Central Arkansas (5)                       247
  3. McNeese (1)                                     244
  4. Southeastern Louisiana (3)           243
  5. Northwestern State                       193
  6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi            146
  7. UIW                                                    144
  8. Nicholls                                              108
  9. New Orleans                                     101
  10. Abilene Christian                             98
  11. Stephen F. Austin                            92
  12. Lamar                                                 87
  13. Houston Baptist                              49