Westminster Chosen Third In SLIAC Preseason Poll

Westminster Chosen Third In SLIAC Preseason Poll

The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released the 2015 Baseball Preseason Poll and Westminster was selected to finish third in the west division. 

Westminster received 29 total points including one first place vote. The Blue Jays are coached by Denny Hughes and return six starters and 26 players from last year's team that was 21-14 overall and 15-12 in conference action.

The Blue Jays will rely on Preseason All-American utility man Deion Hughes. Hughes hit .361 with 26 runs batted in at the plate and was 8-1 with a 1.94 earned run average and 79 strikeouts in 55.2 innings pitched on the mound. He earned All-SLIAC, All-Region and All-American honors as a utility.

Joining Hughes in the pitching rotation is junior Will Miller, who was 5-3 with 70 strikeouts in 67.1 innings pitched.

The Blue Jay offense is led by Tim Chambliss and Tyler Branneky. Chambliss, a senior first baseman, hit .346 with three home runs and a team high 30 RBI last season. He led the team with 273 putouts with a .990 fielding percentage.

Branneky, a junior third baseman, hit .366 with a team high four home runs and 23 runs batted in. He was ranked second on the team with 67 assists and finished the 2014 season with a .909 fielding percentage. 

The Blue Jays open the season with a home doubleheader versus Grinnell College on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 1:00 p.m.

This marks the first time in SLIAC history baseball will be split into separate divisions, the East and West. The East division contains Blackburn, Greenville, MacMurray, Principia and Spalding. The West division contains Eureka, Fontbonne, Iowa Wesleyan, Webster and Westminster. 

Here is the Preseason Poll:

School Points (1st) School  Points (1st)
Spalding 44 (8) Webster 45 (9)
Greenville 42 (2) Fontbonne 30
Blackburn 24 Westminster 29 (1)
MacMurray 24 Eureka 16
Principia 13 Iowa Wesleyan 15