TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology baseball team has been picked to finish third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released today.
Rose-Hulman won the HCAC regular season championship last season after qualifying for the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Fightin' Engineers finished 27-14 last season and have a record of 148-73 since 2008.
The Fightin' Engineers received 75 points and one first-place vote to finish third in the preseason poll. The top four finishers will qualify for the HCAC Baseball Tournament in May.
Manchester University earned the top spot with 94 points and seven first-place votes. Franklin College was picked second with 85 points and one first-place vote. Anderson University was selected to finish fourth with 75 points and the final first-place vote.
Hanover was selected fifth in the poll with 55 points, followed by Transylvania at 54. Bluffton, Earlham, Mount St. Joseph and Defiance round out the poll.
Offensively, Rose-Hulman returns six offensive starters and the top starting pitcher from a staff that helped the team finish 18-6 in conference play along with 27 wins last season. The team returns 19 total letter winners this season.
Rose-Hulman has also been selected as the site of the 2013 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional by the baseball national committee. The Fightin' Engineers open the season against Farmingdale State on Sunday Feb. 24 as part of the team's Spring Trip to Florida.