With February just around the corner, that means college baseball can’t be far behind. So, with that in mind, Conference USA released their preseason poll today–and the Charlotte 49ers are picked to finish 8th out of 13 teams in their return to the league.
Leading the way was Rice; Florida Atlantic was 2nd. East Carolina, Southern Miss and Tulane rounded out the top 5.
The preseason poll also means preseason awards, and this year’s preseason player of the year honors went to Drew Reynolds (ECU) and Aramis Garcia (FIU) (Charlotte will get a good look at both players as FIU visits Hayes Stadium March 7-9; ECU is in town March 21-23). Niners junior infielder Brad Elwood (.343, 3 HR, 41 RBI) was Charlotte’s only rep on the all-conference team list.
The season gets underway at home February 14 against Youngstown State. Charlotte was 37-23 (17-7 A-10) last season and advanced to the championship game of the Atlantic 10 tournament at The Hayes before being ousted by Saint Louis. They’ll face a much tougher challenge in their return to Conference USA, regarded as one of the better college baseball leagues in the country.
Conference USA softball released its preseason poll yesterday, and Charlotte was selected 10th out of the league’s 13 squads. UAB was picked to finish first, followed by Tulsa, Marshall, ECU and North Texas. The softball Niners had a selection on the all-conference team of their own; senior catcher/infielder Chelsea Ingersoll (.353, 10 HR, 31 RBI) was the team’s lone pick.
Charlotte opens at Gardner-Webb February 8 before kicking off its home slate against South Carolina on February 12.