The defending NCAA Division III champion Cal Lutheran baseball team was tabbed the unanimous favorite to win the league in the 2018 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Preseason Poll following a vote conducted by the conference's head coaches.
Cal Lutheran received all nine first place votes and 81 points in the preseason vote heading into the 2018 season. The Kingsmen, who posted an impressive 40-11 overall record (18-6 mark in SCIAC play) in 2017 en route to a second straight conference tournament title (fourth since 2013), won the program's first national championship after making their sixth NCAA World Series appearance and first since 1999. Cal Lutheran will begin its quest to defend its crown ranked second in the nation according to the D3baseball.com Preseason Poll.
Chapman was voted to finish second in the league in 2018 after receiving 68 points in the preseason vote. The Panthers finished last season with a 26-14 ledger, highlighted by a 16-8 record in the SCIAC. Chapman advanced to the SCIAC Tournament and finished 1-2 in the conference postseason.
Redlands (63 points) is slotted to finish third after posting a 27-16 mark in 2017, and also logged a SCIAC record of 16-8. The Bulldogs finished the league tournament 2-2, eventually falling to Cal Lutheran in the final.
La Verne (48 points) edged Occidental (43 points) and Pomona-Pitzer (42 points) for fourth place. The Leopards tallied a 21-20 overall record in 2017 and finished with a SCIAC mark of 15-9 advancing to the SCIAC postseason tournament.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) (28 points), Whittier (22 points) and Caltech (10 points) round out the 2018 SCIAC Baseball Preseason Poll.
2018 SCIAC Baseball Preseason Poll
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Cal Lutheran (9) - 81 points
2. Chapman - 68 points
3. Redlands - 63 points
4. La Verne - 48 points
5. Occidental - 43 points
6. Pomona-Pitzer - 42 points
7. CMS - 28 points
8. Whittier - 22 points
9. Caltech - 10 points