Forest, Va. -- Lynchburg College's baseball team will enter the season picked ninth by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's coaches, the league announced Wednesday with its preseason poll.
Shenandoah received six of the 11 first-place votes and narrowly edged out Randolph-Macon for the top spot in the ballot; the Yellow Jackets received the other five top spots. Defending league champion Roanoke was picked third, followed in order by Hampden-Sydney, Washington and Lee, Virginia Wesleyan, Guilford, Emory & Henry, Lynchburg, Bridgewater, and Eastern Mennonite.
Lynchburg will have a new look this season under first-year head coach Lucas Jones. The 2005 Lynchburg grad and former All-American took over the program this past spring, coming from Washington and Lee, where he led the Generals to a pair of ODAC tournament appearances in his two seasons. Jones takes over for longtime head coach Percy Abell, who retired to teach full-time at the college after 20 years running the program.
While not returning any All-ODAC ballplayers, the cupboard is far from bare for the Hornets. The LC roster boasts 10 seniors, led by right-hander David Goulding (Lynchburg, Va.), who led the entire NCAA in innings pitched in 2016, and outfielder Will Harris (Halifax, Va.), who was leading the team in hits, doubles, and RBI before injury cut his junior season short.
The Hornets have already seen weather impact their schedule, but forecasted rain for the weekend means LC will now open the season at home on Friday, Feb. 9 against Southern Virginia. First pitch of 2018 is set for 2 p.m.
2018 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Shenandoah University (6) 96 pts.
2. Randolph-Macon College (5) 95 pts.
3. Roanoke College 71 pts.
4. Hampden-Sydney College 70 pts.
5. Washington and Lee University 68 pts.
6. Virginia Wesleyan University 60 pts.
7. Guilford College 41 pts.
8. Emory & Henry College 33 pts.
9. Lynchburg College 25 pts.
10. Bridgewater College 23 pts.
11. Eastern Mennonite University 23 pts.