King Ranked Seventh in Conference Preseason Poll

BRISTOL, Tenn. – In their first year as a member Conference Carolinas coaches around the league have tabbed King College Baseball to finish ninth in this season's preseason coaches' poll released today.
 

King was voted to a seventh place tie with Barton College, each receiving 21 votes in the poll. Fellow first-year program North Greenville was voted to a tie for fifth place, sharing the spot with Pfeiffer University, though received one vote to finish in first place. North Greenville was the NCCAA Tournament runner-up last season and won the championship in 2010. Last year, the Tornado and Crusaders met five times results in five NGU wins.

The Tornado finished 2011 with a 28-25 overall record participating as a non-conference, NCAA Division II program. They return their leading hitter, senior Bryant Walker, who had a team-high .352 batting average and a share of the team lead in triples (3). They also return outfielder and Sullivan East High School graduate Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) who rocked a .342 batting average, led the team in hits (52) and was among the team highs in runs batted in (22), doubles (4), and stolen bases (18).

King also returns its top two relief pitchers from a season ago in Nick Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) and David Prichard (Hamilton, Ohio) plus two of its three starting pitchers, Cory Rhoades (Kissimmee, Fla.) and Danny Laperna (Lake Worth, Fla.).

Limestone College received three first place votes and narrowly edged out Mount Olive College (58) with 59 points to take top honors in the preseason poll. Mount Olive received five first-place votes and took the number-two spot. Belmont Abbey College (48) and Erskine College (42) were ranked third and fourth, respectively. Coker rounded out the poll in ninth place.

The Tornado begin their season on the road against Georgia College (Milledgeville, Ga.) on Feb. 4 in doubleheader action against the Bobcats. They open their home slate against Salem International on Feb. 18-19.

Conference Carolinas will release the 2012 Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll on Friday.

 
 

Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll
 

No.

Team


Pts. (1st place votes)

1

Limestone  (3)

 

59

2

Mount Olive  (5)

 

58

3

Belmont Abbey

 

48

4

Erskine

 

42

t-5

North Greenville  (1)

 

31

t-5

Pfeiffer

 

31

t-7

King

 

21

t-7

Barton

 

21

9

Coker

 

13