MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande has been picked third in the 2020 River States Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
The RedStorm tallied 52 total points in the voting. Head coach Brad Warnimont’s squad was 39-21 overall and 18-9 in the RSC last year.
After finishing fourth in the standings, Rio Grande won the RSC Championship and finished with the most overall wins in the RSC.
The RedStorm upset No. 10 Middle Georgia in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round before running into No. 1 Southeastern and No. 10 Middle Georgia again.
Rio Grande begins the new season “receiving votes” in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Top 25 and are 29th overall in the country.
Indiana University Southeast is predicted as top team this year’s RSC poll. The Grenadiers, who are ranked No. 22 in the NAIA Preseason Top 25, received nine first-place votes and 60 points in the balloting.
IU Southeast was 37-20 overall and 21-6 inside the RSC last year. The Grenadiers won two games at the national tournament before falling just a couple games shy of the NAIA World Series.
IU Kokomo received 56 total points and the remaining four first-place votes for second place. The Cougars were 36-18 overall and 19-8 in league play last year, making a run to the RSC Championship finals. They have won over 30 games in both of their years as a program.
Behind Rio Grande in fourth place is Point Park (Pa.) University, which garnered 46 points in the voting. The Pioneers (32-17, 19-8 RSC) were second place in last year’s regular season.
Midway (Ky.) University (27-27, 14-13 RSC) and Asbury (Ky.) University (24-22, 15-12 RSC) are predicted fifth and sixth with 33 and 28 points, respectively. They are predicted as the final two playoff teams this year although they were flip-flopped in last year’s playoff bracket.
WVU Tech (20-30, 10-17 RSC) was picked seventh with 26 points, the same spot it finished last year. Brescia (Ky.) University (15 votes) and Ohio Christian University (8 votes) rounded out the nine teams.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.