Courtesy of Wooster Athletics
WOOSTER, Ohio -- The College of Wooster baseball team was the overwhelming favorite in the 2019 D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Top 25, as the Fighting Scots garnered 16 of a possible 25 first-place votes, and 588 points overall.
Wooster, also the favorite in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40, has now been ranked No. 1 in six different seasons in the 2000s, including back-to-back years. Wooster's first No. 1 ranking in this century came in 2002, when Wooster earned top billing for four consecutive weeks. Wooster was either No. 1 or No. 2 in the Div. III coaches' poll each week during the 2006 and 2007 regular seasons, and was No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball's 2008 preseason prognostics. Last season, Wooster was voted the No. 1 team in the May 1 D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25.
Wooster returns six starting position players this season, headlined by D3baseball.com Preseason All-Americans Garrett Crum and Dan Harwood. Wooster's 658 hits, 516 runs, and 139 doubles were Div. III bests in 2018, with the hits and runs ranking as the most and second-most in the storied program's single-season annals. The Scots were equally as impressive in the field with a Div. III-leading .978 fielding percentage, and Wooster's ranked in the top three in that stat in each of the last three years.
Of note, Wooster's 16 first-place votes are the most in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Preseason Poll since the State University of New York College at Cortland had 23 in 2016. Cortland's three first-place votes in this year's preseason poll was the second-highest total, while Trinity University (Texas) (2), Rowan University (2), Concordia University Chicago (1), and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (1) also received first-place votes.
Whitewater, Texas Lutheran University, Trinity (Texas), and Randolph-Macon College rounded out the preseason top five.
The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) also had Wabash and Denison receiving votes in the preseason voting. Wabash finished 2018 with a 32-17 (10-8 NCAC) record and an NCAC Tournament title. The Big Red finished last season with a 32-12 record, 15-3 in the conference.