Concord has been picked by the Mountain East Conference coaches to win the league's inaugural baseball championship.
The Mountain Lions collected 138 points finishing just ahead of Shepherd (130) and West Virginia State (124). CU collected six first-place votes and was tabbed as second on the other six. The Rams collected two first-place votes, while the Yellow Jackets had three.
Concord posted a record of 36-20 last year and earned a bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Mountain Lions will be paced offensively by Ryan Johnston who hit .404 last year with 11 home runs and 66 RBI, along with Joey Miller who batted .342 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI. Ryan Weatherholtz is the top returning starting pitcher after posting a 4-2 record with a 3.77 ERA. CU also received a vote in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Top 25 poll.
Shepherd will return eight starters from a team that went 28-20, while West Virginia State will be trying to send out veteran coach Cal Bailey a winner in his final season with the Yellow Jackets.
Charleston was tabbed to finish fourth (89), followed closely by Fairmont State (81), West Liberty (79), West Virginia Wesleyan (69) and Urbana (64). Wheeling Jesuit was picked 10th with 46 points, and UVa-Wise (29) and Glenville State (15) rounded out the poll.
Play for MEC teams starts this weekend with Shepherd heading to Aiken, S.C., for matchups against three top 10 teams in No. 8 USC Aiken, No. 4 Mount Olive and and No. 1 Tampa.
2014 MOUNTAIN EAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON BASEBALL POLL
1. Concord (6) 138 pts.
2. Shepherd (2) 130 pts.
3. West Virginia State (3) 124 pts.
4. Charleston 89 pts.
5. Fairmont State (1) 81 pts.
6. West Liberty 79 pts.
7. Notre Dame 76 pts.
8. West Virginia Wesleyan 69 pts.
9. Urbana 64 pts.
10. Wheeling Jesuit 46 pts.
11. UVA-Wise 29 pts.
12. Glenville State 15 pts.