The Central Missouri Mules Baseball team was the preseason No. 1 pick in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Central Regional Poll released on Wednesday evening (Jan. 30).

The Mules received five of a possible eight first place votes and tallied 76 points to edge out Minnesota State, who received two first place votes and totaled 72 points.
The NCBWA Preseason Top 25 is expected to be released on Friday.

UCM was 48-9 a year ago capturing the MIAA title, the 23rd in school history, with a 34-4 conference mark. The Mules went on to win the MIAA tournament crown and host the South Central Regional. UCM is ranked No. 4 in the 2013 ABCA preseason poll.

St. Cloud State (Minn.) received one first place vote and tallied 65 points to come in third. Missouri Western came in fourth with 50 points and Southern Arkansas had 41 points to round out the top five.

The NCBWA also released their preseason All-Central Region team. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Schuyler and senior second baseman Jon Cotter were first team preseason All-Region selections, while senior catcher Chase Graskewicz was a second team honoree.

The Mules open the season on Friday against Texas A&M-Kingsville at 1 p.m. at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas as part of the Astros in Action D-II Invitational. UCM will play four games in four days in Houston.

Central Region Top 10

  1. Central Missouri (5)    76 pts
  2. Minnesota State (2)    72 pts
  3. St. Cloud State (1)      65 pts
  4. Missouri Western        50 pts
  5. Southern Arkansas     41 pts
  6. SE Oklahoma State    31 pts
  7. Winona State              28 pts
  8. Augustana (S.D.)        18 pts
  9. Central Oklahoma       13 pts
  10. Missouri Southern     12 pts

Press Release Courtesy of UCM Athletics Press