BRIDGEPORT -- The Shepherd Rams have been picked by the baseball coaches in the Mountain East Conference to repeat as conference champions in 2015.
The Rams, the MEC regular season champions in 2014, finished with 116 points and were picked to finish first on eight ballots. Catcher Spencer Wolfe, a preseason All-America honoree, returns to the lineup after hitting .388 and slugged a team-best .624 with seven home runs. Starter Ryan Pansch went 7-4 last year with a 2.81 ERA.
West Virginia State and Concord finished in a tie for second with 107 points. The Yellow Jackets, the 2014 MEC Tournament champions, were picked first on three ballots. WVSU's pitching staff will be led by Tyler Hall and first team All-MEC reliever Josh Falbo. The Mountain Lions, who were picked to finish first on one ballot, returns second baseman Jerrod Groves, a second team All-MEC honoree last year, and will be led on the hill by Chris Kelly who went 8-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 2014.
Notre Dame was picked fourth with 87 points, followed by West Liberty (76), Urbana (75) and Charleston (60). Wheeling Jesuit was selected to finish eighth with 47 points, and West Virginia Wesleyan (36), UVa-Wise (32), Fairmont State (26) and Glenville State (14) completed the poll.
|2015 MEC Baseball Preseason Poll|
|2.(t)||West Virginia State (3)||107|
|9.||West Virginia Wesleyan||36|
|() Indicates first place votes
* Coaches not able to vote for own team