WINTER PARK, Fla. – Barry University’s baseball team was tabbed fifth in the Sunshine State Conference preseason poll. A year after finishing 23-22, including a 13-9 mark that was good for third in the league, the Bucs will play the underdog roll entering the 2013 season.
In a poll conducted among the SSC’s head baseball coaches, Tampa tallied 64 points and eight first-place votes. When completing the poll, coaches do not rank their own squads.
Barry and Tampa have alternated conference championships in each of the last four seasons with the Buccaneers capturing the league crown in 2009 and 2011 under Marc Pavao.
Only seven points separated the teams in the second through fourth slots. Nova Southeastern was picked to finish second, collecting 51 points and the lone remaining first-place vote. Florida Southern was not far behind in third place with 48 points. Nipping on the Moccasins’ heels was Lynn with 44 points.
Barry occupied fifth place in the poll with 38 points. Florida Tech was just six points behind (32) in sixth place. Rollins was tabbed to finish seventh and received 22 points.
Saint Leo (16) and Eckerd (9) rounded out the poll.
Last season, Tampa won the SSC title with a 38-10 overall record and an 18-6 mark in league play. The championship was the fifth in seven years for UT.
A mix of young stars and experienced veterans such as freshman J.C. Cardenas, sophomore Sheehan Planas-Arteaga, as well as seniors Michael Slabach and Kevin Youst will be essential in getting the Buccaneers back a-top the conference standings at season’s end.
2013 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE PRESEASON BASEBALL POLL
Rank – Team, Points
1 – Tampa, 64 (8)
2 – Nova Southeastern, 51 (1)
3 – Florida Southern, 48
4 – Lynn, 44
5 – Barry, 38
6 – Florida Tech, 32
7 – Rollins, 22
8 – Saint Leo, 16
9 – Eckerd, 9