RICHARDSON — It’s a new season, but the same high expectations remain for the UT Tyler baseball team.
The Patriots were picked to win the American Southwest Conference’s East Division in a preseason poll, which was released on Wednesday.
UT Tyler, which has won five consecutive division crowns, finished 33-8 last season and reached the national tournament for the third straight year. The Patriots garnered nine first-place votes from a panel that included members of the media and league coaches and sports information directors.
UT Tyler finished ahead of UT Dallas and Mississippi College, which tied for second. They were followed by Louisiana College, LeTourneau, East Texas Baptist and Ozarks.
Centenary College will make its debut in the ASC East this season, but is ineligible to compete for the division or conference title as the former Division I institution continues to phase out its athletic scholarships.
In addition, UT Tyler senior catcher Hayden Chick and senior pitcher Chance Williams were included on the East Division’s list of 16 players to watch.
Chick hit .296 last season with a homer and 35 RBIs, while playing in all 41 games. Williams was 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA in nine relief appearances.
UT Tyler opens its season at home on Feb. 10 against Freed Hardeman.
Defending ASC champion Concordia-Texas was picked to win the ASC West Division.
2012 ASC Preseason Baseball Poll
(Voted on by ASC head coaches, sports information directors and media members)
Team (first-place votes) Points 2011 Record
1, UT Tyler (9) 129 33-8, 14-4 ASC (1st)
2, UT Dallas (5) 114 29-18 11-7 ASC (T-2nd)
3, Mississippi College (5) 114 24-18 11-7 ASC (T-2nd)
4, Louisiana College (4) 102 26-17 11-7 ASC (T-2nd)
5, LeTourneau 51 19-21 7-11 ASC (T-5th)
6, East Texas Baptist 45 14-26 7-11 ASC (T-5th)
7, Ozarks 33 8-32 2-16 ASC (7th)
*Centenary — 12-31, 9-18 Summit (8th)
2012 ASC Preseason Watch Lists
(One position player and pitcher nominated by each ASC head coach)
Chase Brown, OF, Sr., UT Dallas
Spencer Brunson, 3B, Sr., Mississippi College
Hayden Chick, C, Sr., UT Tyler
Cayden Cunniff, C, Jr., East Texas Baptist
Jordan Marks, 2B, Sr., Louisiana College
Kyle Morton, 1B, Sr., Centenary
Mitchell Powers, SS, Sr., Ozarks
Nate Tomaszewski, INF, Sr., LeTourneau
Bo Craig, RHP, Sr., Mississippi College
Derek Dallas, RHP, Jr., UT Dallas
Tyler Erickson, RHP, Jr., Ozarks
Pete Fitzsimmons, LHP, Sr., East Texas Baptist
Travis Norris, RHP, Sr., LeTourneau
Cole Thompson, RHP, Jr., Centenary
Greg Uzee, RHP, Sr., Louisiana College
Chance Williams, RHP, Sr., UT Tyler