The Georgia Gwinnett baseball team will enter the 2015 season with hopes of bettering a fantastic 2014 campaign that concluded with a trip to Lewiston, Idaho, for the Avista-NAIA World Series, and Tuesday’s NAIA preseason coaches’ poll echoes those hopes as the Grizzlies were tabbed No. 6.
“It’s nice to be viewed as one of the top teams in the country, but it’s still November,” GGC Head Coach Brad Stromdahl said. “We believe we’re going to have a strong team, but it needs to be proven on the field. We will be going to be up against a number of teams that are represented in the poll, and we’ll see how we stack up. I’m looking forward to this season.”
Cumberland, the national champion from a year ago, collected 19 of a possible 20 first-place votes to lay claim to the mantel of preseason favorite. Lewis-Clark State, the runner-up last season, came in at No. 2, and the trio of Oklahoma Wesleyan, Oklahoma Baptist and Faulkner rounded out the polls top five.
GGC, which posted a 53-13 overall record last spring, will play 17 of its 55 scheduled games against schools that have received votes in the poll, including two apiece against Cumberland and Faulkner. The Grizzlies will also play a four-game set vs. eighth-ranked Georgetown as well as nine more games vs. Talladega, Fisher and Lindsey Wilson, all of which earned votes outside of the top 25.
The Green and Gray baseball season will begin on Jan. 30 as a showdown with Blue Mountain will mark the first of 19 consecutive home games at Grizzly Baseball Complex.