Wichita State is picked third in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason baseball coaches poll, behind favorite Dallas Baptist and Missouri State.
The Shockers received 43 points. Pitcher Sam Tewes and outfielder Daniel Kihle were selected to the preseason All-MVC team. WSU went 31-28 last season, 13-8 in the MVC. Second-year coach Todd Butler brought in 26 newcomers for this season after losing five of his top six hitters and weekend pitchers A.J. Ladwig and Cale Elam.
Dallas Baptist finished in a tie for second last season with Indiana State and won the MVC Tournament. The Patriots earned 63 points and seven of the eight first-place votes. In their second season as an MVC baseball-only member, Dallas Baptist returns seven starters. Missouri State received one first-place vote and 53 total for second place.
Defending regular-season champion Evansville is picked fifth.
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The Shockers open the season at Sam Houston State on Feb. 13.
MVC baseball preseason poll
1. Dallas Baptist (7 first-place votes) 62 points
2. Missouri State (1) 53
3. Wichita State 43
4. Indiana State 42
5. Evansville 28
6. Illinois State 26
7. Bradley 18
8. Southern Illinois 15
2B — Paul DeJong, Illinois State
3B — Spencer Gaa, Bradley
SS — Tyler Leffler, Bradley
C — Daniel Salters, Dallas Baptist
UT — Dylan Becker, Missouri State
DH — Justin Wall, Dallas Baptist
OF — Kevin Kaczmarski, Evansville
OF — Daniel Kihle, Wichita State
OF — David Martinelli, Dallas Baptist
OF — Tate Matheny, Missouri State
SP — Jon Harris, Missouri State
SP — Sam Tewes, Wichita State
RP — Brandon Koch, Dallas Baptist
RP — Ryan Keaffaber, Indiana State