Special to the Register
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Eastern Kentucky University’s baseball team, the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference regular season champions, was picked to place fourth in the league in 2013 in a poll of head coaches and media relations contacts released today.
EKU finished the 2012 season with a 31-23 record and captured a league-best 16th OVC regular season championship. Eastern was picked sixth in last year’s poll, but finished in a first place tie with a 19-7 league record.
Two Colonels earned spots on the Preseason All-OVC team, junior Bryan Soloman at third base and senior Shane Grimm as one of three starting pitchers. Soloman hit .271 with 14 home runs, 46 RBIs and 30 runs scored last season. Grimm went 6-4 in 2012 with a 3.14 ERA.
Eastern Kentucky earned 139 points in the voting, six more than fifth place Eastern Illinois (133) and 17 points behind third place Jacksonville State (156). Austin Peay earned 14 of a possible 20 first-place votes and 193 points to garner the top spot. OVC newcomer Belmont (182) was picked to finish second.
Tennessee Tech (107) was sixth, followed by SIU Edwardsville (91) and Southeast Missouri (73). Morehead State (70) was picked ninth. Murray State (45) and Tennessee-Martin (21) rounded out the poll in 10th and 11th respectively.
The 2013 season begins for EKU on Feb. 15 with a three-game series at Charleston Southern.