The Ashland University baseball team has been picked third in the 2011 GLIAC Coaches' Preseason Poll.
The Eagles, who open conference action at home this weekend (Mar. 26-27) against Northwood, received two first place votes and 69 total points. Grand Valley State is the favorite to win the league title. The Lakers received seven first place votes and 79 total points. Wayne State picked up one first place vote and received 70 total points.
Ashland is off to a 9-4 start in 2011. AU is ranked 24th in the country this week.
The GLIAC has expanded to 10 teams in baseball with the addition of Lake Erie and Ohio Dominican. AU knows a good deal about both programs, playing both during the tenure of head coach John Schaly, who is in his 14th season at AU. Lake Erie was 18-29 last season and ODU was 22-29.
Wayne State is the defending GLIAC regular-season champion. The Warriors also won last year's GLIAC tournament. Ashland advanced to the tournament championship game in 2010. AU was 35-22 last season, 21-12 in conference play. The Eagles were invited to the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Tournament. AU has advanced to the NCAA postseason for five consecutive years and 11 of the last 12 seasons.
This year's GLIAC Tournament will be played May 12-14 at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
2011 GLIAC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll
Rank Team Points
1 Grand Valley State (7) 79
2 Wayne State (1) 70
3 Ashland (2) 69
4 Saginaw Valley State 51
5 Northwood 44
6 Tiffin 42
7 Ohio Dominican 39
T8 Findlay 20
T8 Hillsdale 20
10 Lake Erie 16
First place votes in parentheses