RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–The VCU Rams were picked first in the Atlantic 10 preseason baseball poll, released Tuesday.
VCU received eight of 13 first-place votes from the league’s coaches and tallied 162 points, beating out Fordham (two first-place votes, 149 points) and Dayton (three first-place votes, 144 points) for the top spot.
VCU returns seven of nine starters in its lineup from a 39-19 season, but coach Shawn Stiffler is expecting his young players as well as his returnees to lead.
“The older group has to be held accountable,” Stiffler said. “That has been more of my focus with this group because I know they are going to do the work, but are they able to really realize if the wrong pitch happens at the wrong time in the wrong inning and you lose a game at the wrong point in the season, it could cost you a game?”
VCU opens the season on Friday with a three-game series at Charlotte.