WAUKESHA, Wis. – Despite a fifth-place finish a season ago, one that saw them clinch a Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament berth, the Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team was picked to finish eighth in 2014. This was determined by the league's preseason poll which is voted on by its 11 head coaches and sports information directors.
Concordia University Chicago was picked as a heavy favorite to repeat as NACC Champions. The Cougars picked up 19 first-place votes and 239 poll points. Benedictine University received a first-place vote as well in being picked second, while Rockford University, which was picked fourth, gained the other two first-place votes. Aurora University (184 points) was picked to finish third. Wisconsin Lutheran College (151 points) and Marian University (141) were chosen as the final two teams of the top six.
The Falcons are entering the 2014 season under first-year head coach Eddy Morgan. Morgan has spent the last seven seasons as head coach at UW-Superior and is also the manager of the Lakeshore Chinooks who play at the Falcons home field, Kapco Park.
CUW returns one all-conference player in right-handed pitcher Andrew Mueller (Horicon, Wis. – senior). Mueller went 4-2 in conference games a season ago, posting a 2.34 ERA and striking out 35 in 57.2 innings pitched. The Falcons have several other players returning who saw significant playing time last spring.
The bottom of the poll started with Edgewood College, whose 118 points put them just ahead of CUW (113). Dominican University was slotted ninth with 68 points, while MSOE (40) and Lakeland College (36) rounded out the poll.
The NACC's regular season standings determine the teams that qualify for the six-team conference tournament, which is hosted by CUW at Kapco Park. The winner of the NACC Tournament will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
2014 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' and SIDs' Poll
1. Concordia Chicago (19), 239
2. Benedictine (1), 200
3. Aurora, 184
4. Rockford (2), 162
5. Wisconsin Lutheran, 151
6. Marian, 141
7. Edgewood, 118
8. Concordia Wisconsin, 113
9. Dominican, 68
10. MSOE, 40
11. Lakeland, 36