The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team is predicted to finish third in the Great American Conference during the 2015 season, as voted by the league’s head coaches.
The Weevils are coming off the program’s all-time most successful season with 36 wins last year, runner-up finishes in the GAC regular season and postseason championship tournament, and the program’s first ever NCAA tournament berth.
UAM returns seven starters and 13 lettermen from last year’s squad, including a pair of All-GAC pitchers in junior starter Zach McKnight and senior reliever Jeff Harvill. McKnight ranked in the top 10 in ERA and opponent’s batting average, and Harvill set new career and single-season school records in saves last year with 10.
Other starters returning include junior outfielder Corey Wood, junior shortstop Evan Comeau, senior first baseman Bronson Gillam, junior catcher Travis Steinke, senior pitcher/designated hitter Austin Braddock and senior starting pitcher Logan Johnson.
The Weevils have brought in 14 newcomers to the program for 2015. The season begins February 5-8 in Grand Prairie, Texas with the QuikTrip Division II Classic.
Three-time defending GAC tournament champion, Southern Arkansas, was selected as the preseason favorite with seven of the 11 first-place votes. Last year’s regular season champion and NCAA Regional Tournament host, Arkansas Tech, came in second with the other four first-place votes.
2015 GAC BASEBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Southern Arkansas (97 – 7 First Place Votes)
2. Arkansas Tech (93 – 4 First Place Votes)
3. Arkansas-Monticello (76)
4. Southwestern Oklahoma State (67)
5. Harding (60)
T6. East Central (50)
T6. Ouachita Baptist (50)
8. Southeastern Oklahoma State (45)
9. Henderson State (34)
10. Northwestern Oklahoma State (20)
11. Southern Nazarene (13)