Winthrop’s baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the South Division of the 2014 Big South Conference preseason poll of the league’s head coaches.
Coach Tom Riginos’ Eagles received 34 points in the South Division poll and received one first place vote. Coastal Carolina was the unanimous pick to win the South Division with 72 points, while Liberty earned the top spot in the North Division poll with 62 points.
Winthrop will open the 2014 season on Feb. 14 with a three-game weekend series against Akron. Riginos returns 21 players from last year’s squad that finished 21-33 overall and 9-16 in the Big South. A total of 14 newcomers, including eight pitchers, are included on the 35-man roster.
Bobby Ison, a junior outfielder for Charleston Southern, has been voted the Preseason Player of the Year, while Campbell’s Ryan Thompson is the Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Ison hit .367 last year with three home runs, 14 doubles and 27 runs batted in. Thompson, a senior right-handed relief specialist, compiled a 9-1 record with 10 saves and a 0.88 earned run average on the way to being voted Big South Pitcher of the Year.