KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three-time defending MIAA Champion and NCAA Division II South Central Regional qualifier Central Missouri was selected as a unanimous preseason No. 1 in the 2013 MIAA Baseball Coaches Poll, the conference office announced Wednesday.
The Mules received all 14 possible first place votes to earn the top spot with 196 points. Central Missouri hosted the NCAA South Central Regional last season, falling in the regional championship game to St. Mary's. The Mules, who finished 48-9 last season are ranked #4 in this season's ABCA preseason poll.
Missouri Western, who finished last season 34-17, has earned the No. 2 spot in this season's poll taking the remaining first place vote. The Griffons are picked #37 in the ABCA preseason poll released on Dec. 20, 2012. They are followed by No. 3 Emporia State, who finished 26-22 last season and are picked #40 in the ABCA preseason poll.
Central Oklahoma, in their first year as members of the MIAA, are picked to finish fourth with 152 points. They come in ahead of Fort Hays State, picked No. 5 with 136 points, on point ahead of No. 6 Missouri Southern.
Washburn is picked No. 7 in this season's poll with 118 points, ten points ahead of No. 8 pick Lindenwood. Pittsburg State is picked to finish ninth in the league followed closely by No. 10 Northwest Missouri.
Just two points separate No. 11 Northeastern State (64) from No. 12 Nebraska-Kearney (62). The same stands for No. 13 Southwest Baptist (43) and No. 14 Truman (41) in this year's poll. Lincoln holds the final spot with 19 points.
The season will get underway on Feb. 1, 2013 when Emporia State and Central Missouri play in the Astro's in Action D-II Invitational in Houston, Texas.
2013 MIAA Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Central Missouri (14) 196
2. Missouri Western (1) 175
3. Emporia State 160
4. Central Oklahoma 152
5. Fort Hays State 136
6. Missouri Southern 135
7. Washburn 118
8. Lindenwood 108
9. Pittsburg State 91
10. Northwest Missouri 75
11. Northeastern State 64
12. Nebraska-Kearney 62
13. Southwest Baptist 43
14. Truman 41
15. Lincoln 19