The Valparaiso University baseball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League by a vote of the league’s head coaches.
The Crusaders posted a winning record for the first time since 2013 a year ago. They racked up 30 wins for the seventh time in program history, finishing the year with an appearance in the Horizon League final against Wright State.
Valpo received 27 points in the preseason poll, finishing behind league-favorite Wright State (47), UIC (40) and Milwaukee (36).
The defending champion Raiders received six first-place votes with UIC collecting one first-place vote. Wright State is under the direction of first-year head coach Jeff Mercer.
The Crusaders bring back second-team all-league first baseman Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif. / Oaks Christian) and all-freshman honorees Chase Dawson (Andrean / Chesterton, Ind.) and Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth).
The season begins on Friday at 3 p.m. CT against Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky. This begins a stretch of 25 straight games away from Emory G. Bauer Field to start the season.
2017 Horizon League Baseball Preseason Poll
Team Pts. (1st)
Wright State 47 (6)
UIC 40 (1)
Northern Kentucky 22
Youngstown State 8