The No. 26-ranked Lander baseball team, which posted its best season ever last year (38-20), is picked to finish fifth in the Peach Belt Conference this season according to a coaches’ poll that was released this week.
Francis Marion received seven first-place votes and sits atop the poll with 137 points. USC Aiken and Columbus State each garnered two first-place votes and are second and third respectively with 130 and 119 points. Armstrong and Lander, with one first-place vote each, are fourth and fifth respectively with 108 and 98 points. Finishing out the poll are: 6. Georgia College (83), 7. UNC Pembroke (79), 8. Montevallo (63), 9. Flagler (54), 10. North Georgia (52), 11. Young Harris (49), 12. Augusta State (25), and 13. Georgia Southwestern (17).
Six PBC teams are ranked in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Top 40. Francis Marion is ranked seventh and is followed by No. 10 USC Aiken, No. 26 Lander, No. 32 UNC Pembroke, No. 36 Columbus State, and No. 38 Armstrong.
In 2012, the Bearcats reached the PBC championship game for the first time in their 15-year history. Lander also received its first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament where the Bearcats upset top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Mount Olive in the first game.