GREENWOOD – The Lander baseball team was picked by the league's coaches to finish tied for seventh in the Peach Belt Conference when this year's preseason poll was released on Friday. Last year's national runner-up, Columbus State, was chosen to finish atop the league.
Lander returns 23 lettermen from last year's squad that finished eighth in the conference. The Bearcats will be led by Colton Yeager (JR, 2B, .307 avg., 2 HR, 1 3B, 9 2B, 32 RBI), Zack Moore (JR, C, .305 avg., 4 HR, 1 3B, 7 2B, 26 RBI), and Mike Fitschen (R-JR, C/DH, .291 avg., 1 3B, 6 2B, 31 RBI). The Bearcats will also look to Joseph Whitt (1-4, 5.93 ERA, 67 K) to lead the team's pitching staff.
Columbus State claimed eight first-place votes after falling to Augustana in the national championship series last year. Georgia College finished second in the poll with one first-place vote, while UNC Pembroke took third place with two first-place votes.
USC Aiken grabbed the No. 4 slot and North Georgia was slated No. 5. Flagler earned the No. 6 spot, while Young Harris tied with the Bearcats at No. 7.
Francis Marion, Augusta and Georgia Southwestern completed the poll, respectively.
Lander begins its 2019 campaign on Feb. 1 against Tampa.