Sun Belt Conference releases preseason baseball rankings

Austin Lanter

The Sun Belt Conference released the 2013 preseason all-conference team on Monday along with the predicted standings for the season, as voted on by the coaches.

Out of the 10 teams in the conference, WKU is selected to finish No. 7. Also, no member of the Topper baseball team was selected to the preseason All-Sun Belt team.

WKU went 13-17 in the conference last year and 25-33 overall. 17 players are returning from last year’s team, with 14 newcomers joining them.

Among those returning is junior pitcher Tanner Perkins, who suffered a season-ending arm injury last March and missed the majority of the season. Perkins led the conference in ERA in 2011.

Joining Perkins on the pitching staff is senior reliever Taylor Haydel, who led the conference in ERA last season. Not only are these two returning to team, but WKU is returning pitchers responsible for over 90 percent of its innings pitched from last season.

The team will open the season this Friday at home against Bowling Green State at 3 p.m. The game will be the first of a three-game set against BGSU and the first of a six-game homestand for the Toppers.