FOREST, Va. – Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) baseball coaches picked Guilford College seventh in their annual preseason poll released Wednesday. The Quakers earned 41 points in the 11-team ranking. Shenandoah University collected six first-place votes and topped the poll with 96 points, one better than Randolph-Macon College (95 points, five first-place votes). Reigning ODAC champion Roanoke College (71 points) sits third in the poll.
Guilford head coach Nick Black '02 returns six starters and 23 letter winners from last year's 22-17 (9-11 ODAC) team. Senior Trevor Denton earned all-region, all-state, and all-conference honors in 2017. He hit .366 with 50 RBI and a school-record 20 doubles. Junior Mitchell Stumpo (.364 batting average, 26 RBI) was a Second Team All-ODAC outfielder a year ago. Three-year starting shortstop Josh Shepherd (.351, 19 RBI) is back after picking up third-team all-league recognition in 2017. Senior outfielder Rocco Wilcox looks to improve on last season when he hit .392 with 21 RBIs and a .478 on-base percentage.
Sophomore left-hander Ty Walser is the Quakers' top returning arm after finishing with a 3.75 ERA last year in 36 innings. Walser made 12 appearances, including seven starts, and finished with a 2-2 record. Denton (2-2, 3 saves), a right-handed reliever, also returns to the mound for the Quakers. Expect Stumpo (2-0, 5.40 ERA) and Brady Holloman (11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA) to also fill in some innings
The Quakers begin the 2018 season with non-conference games against Greensboro College this Friday (2/9), Saturday (2/10), and Sunday (2/11). Guilford opens ODAC play March 3 at home against Lynchburg College.
2018 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL (#) denotes first-place votes
1. Shenandoah University (6) 96, 2. Randolph-Macon College (5) 95, 3. Roanoke College 71, 4. Hampden-Sydney College 70, 5. Washington and Lee University 68, 6. Virginia Wesleyan University 60, 7. Guilford College 41, 8. Emory & Henry College 33, 9. Lynchburg College 25, 10. Bridgewater College 23, 10. Eastern Mennonite University 23.