BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - Morehead State has been picked as the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference preseason baseball favorite. The defending tournament champions were picked first in a vote of OVC head baseball coaches and communications directors. It marks the first time the Eagles have been selected the favorites since the polls were first conducted in 2000.
Eastern Illinois is picked eighth out of Murray State, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and UT Martin.
In additional voting, Tennessee Tech senior outfielder/designated hitter Kevin Strohschein was named OVC Preseason Player of the Year while Austin Peay senior Jacques Pucheu was tabbed OVC Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
The voting saw three different teams pick up first-place votes with Morehead State picking up 11 of the 22 total first-place votes, Jacksonville State getting six first-place votes and defending regular season champion Tennessee Tech picking up five first-place votes. Morehead State tallied 185 total points, edging Jacksonville State (173) by 12 points and Tennessee Tech (166) by 19 points. Austin Peay was picked fourth (143), one point ahead of Southeast Missouri (142). Eastern Kentucky was sixth (110) and followed by Belmont (88), Eastern Illinois (77), Murray State (51), SIUE (45) and UT Martin (32).
In all 17 players were selected to the Preseason All-OVC team. The 17 players represented nine of the 11 teams who will compete for the OVC championship this season. Morehead State led the way with four selections, following by Jacksonville State with three picks.
Eastern Illinois finished last season by winning its final three regular season games to qualify for the OVC Tournament field for the first time since 2014. The Panthers have a pair of Preseason All-OVC selections in senior second baseman Jimmy Govern and senior starting pitcher Tyler Jones. Govern led the team with a .331 batting average in 46 games a year ago. He had 59 hits, 12 doubles, 38 RBI and eight stolen bases while committing just three errors in 158 chances. Jones started 12 games last season, compiling a 7-3 record and 3.52 E.R.A. in 69 innings of work.
The 71st season of OVC baseball will get underway on Friday with the first weekend of league play being held March 8-10. The season will culminate with the 2019 OVC Championship which will be held for the first time at Rent One Park in Marion, Illinois; the venue is home of the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. The tournament runs May 21-26.
EIU men's golf picked 11th, women eighth in OVC
The Eastern Illinois women's golf team is picked eighth out of nine teams, while the men are picked 11th of 11 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Jacksonville State men and Murray State women have been picked as the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference golf favorites in a vote of league head coaches released on Tuesday.
On men’s side Jacksonville State, the defending champions, picked up nine of 11 first-place votes to finish with a league-high 99 points. SIUE picked up one first-place vote and was picked second (85 points) while Eastern Kentucky picked up the other first-place votes and was predicted third (80 points). Morehead State was picked fourth (76) and followed by Austin Peay (58), UT Martin (51), Belmont (48), Tennessee Tech (42), Murray State (34), Tennessee State (22) and Eastern Illinois (10).
The women’s vote saw two-time defending champion Murray State pick up five of the nine first-place votes and 60 total points to edge Eastern Kentucky, who received the other four first-place votes and 58 points. Jacksonville State was tabbed third (52) and followed by Austin Peay (43), Tennessee Tech (34), Belmont (31), Morehead State (23), Eastern Illinois (14) and Tennessee State (9).
The OVC Women’s Golf Championship will be contested April 15-17 on the Schoolmaster Course at The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The men’s event will be held April 21-23 also at The Shoals, but on the Fighting Joe Course.