RICHMOND, Ind. – Earlham College baseball has been picked to repeat as Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference champions, in preseason voting conducted among the conference's head coaches and released Wednesday.
The Quakers received 93 total points in the voting, and six out of a possible 10 first-place votes.
Manchester University was second in the preseason poll with 81 points, but did not receive a single first-place vote. Franklin College was third with 79 points and three first-place votes. Rose-Hulman (68 points) and Mount St. Joseph (67 points).
Transylvania (36 points), Anderson (34 points), Bluffton (32 points), Defiance (31 points), and Hanover (29 points) completed the bottom half of the HCAC poll, with Anderson receiving the remaining first-place vote.
Earlham is coming off a 2017 campaign that saw the Quakers capture their first HCAC title and accompanying berth in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship after finishing the season with a 30-14 record, 21-6 in the HCAC.
The Quakers made their presence felt at the NCAA Division II Baseball Mideast Regional by dispatching the region's top seed, College of Wooster, by a 6-2 score in the opening round.
Led by eighth-year head coach Steve Sakosits, the 2017 HCAC Coach of the Year, the Quakers welcome 18 returning letterwinners back to the squad off last season's conference championship team, including four seniors. Four returnees – senior OF Kendal Baker, junior RHP Walter Talcott, sophomore 3B Danny Dopp, and sophomore RHP Kyle Gorman – earned HCAC All-Tournament honors. Gorman was also an Honorable Mention All-HCAC selection.
The Quakers open their 2018 season on Saturday, Feb. 24, when they host Wittenberg University at Sadler Stadium.
For more information about Earlham baseball, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).