High Point, NC – Conference Carolinas announced the 2018 Baseball Preseason Poll on January 25 with the University of Mount Olive Trojans leading the way.
The University of Mount Olive Trojans were picked first in the poll with 67 points. Last season, the Trojans went 3-1 in the Conference Carolinas tournament to advance to the championship. In the championship versus the Belmont Abbey Crusaders, the Trojans won both games to become the 2017 champions. Mount Olive went on the NCAA Division II Baseball Southeast Regional. They defeated UNC Pembroke on May 19, but fell to North Georgia and Catawba on May 20 and 21 to conclude their 2017 season. The Trojans ended their 2017 campaign with a 48-10 overall record.
The Belmont Abbey Crusaders followed the Mount Olive Trojans by a mere two points in the polls for a second place pick with 65 points. Last season, the Crusaders advanced to the Conference Carolinas tournament. During the tournament they went 3-0 to advance to the championship round versus the Mount Olive Trojans. However, the Crusaders fell to the Trojans to conclude their season with a 37-17 overall record. The North Greenville Crusaders followed the Belmont Abbey Crusaders in the Conference Carolinas preseason poll with 60 points. North Greenville advanced to the Conference Carolinas Tournament last season, but went 1-2 and were unable to advance to the finals. They ended their season with a 38-15 record.
The Erskine College Flying Fleet came in fourth in the preseason poll with 50 points. The Flying Fleet advanced to the Conference Carolinas tournament but were eliminated after going 0-2. They concluded their season with a 25-25 overall record. Behind the Flying Fleet, the Limestone College Saints are picked fifth in the polls with 44 points. The Limestone Saints concluded their 2017 season with a 22-25 record and were just shy of advancing to the conference tournament.
The Barton College Bulldogs were picked sixth in the preseason poll with 41 points. The Bulldogs advanced to the conference tournament last season, but were eliminating after going 0-2. They ended their season with a 28-23 overall record. Behind the Bulldogs, the King Tornado took a seventh place spot in the preseason poll. The Tornado went 19-27 last season to put them in eighth place. Southern Wesleyan were picked last in the poll with 28 points. The Warriors concluded their inaugural season of postseason eligibility with a 15-34 record.
Southern Wesleyan will kick-off their season on the road as they take part in the Carolina's Hospital System Classic hosted by the Francis Marion Patriots. The tournament will run from February 1 through February 3 and the Warriors will take on Barton, Francis Marion and Lenoir-Rhyne. The Warriors will host their first home game on February 7 and will take on the Mars Hill Lions at 4 p.m. Their first series of Conference Carolinas action will be against the Belmont Abbey Crusaders on February 23 and 24.