2021 Big South Preseason Poll Released


HARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com– Two-time defending champion Campbell University has been voted the Big South Conference’s preseason 2021 baseball favorite by the league’s head coaches, it was announced today by the Conference office.  In addition, the coaches voted Campbell redshirt-senior infielder Collin Wolf (Puyallup, Wash.) the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year and Charleston Southern sophomore R.J. Petit (Rock Hill, S.C.) the league’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The Camels, the Big South’s 2019 regular-season and Tournament champion, were the preseason favorite in 2020 and went 7-9 overall (no Big South games played) in the abbreviated season that was canceled March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Campbell received six first-place votes and 89 total points to win the league in 2021.

Winthrop received one first-place vote and was second in the preseason poll with 82 points, while USC Upstate garnered two first-place votes and finished in the third spot with 75 points.  Radford was fourth with 73 points, while High Pointcollected the remaining first-place vote and was fifth with 67 points.  Gardner-Webb followed in the sixth spot with 50 points, with Charleston Southern in the seventh position (37 points).  Presbyterian College finished eighth (36 points), with UNC Asheville (ninth, 24 points) and Longwood (10th, 17 points) rounding out the predicted order of finish.

Wolf is the third Campbell player to be voted the Big South’s Preseason Player of the Year in the award’s 16-year history, and second in three seasons.  He has started every game the past two seasons (74 consecutive) and had 17 hits and 13 RBI in the 16 games played in 2020.  Wolf also had five doubles, one triple and one home run a season ago.  In 2019, he earned Second-Team All-Big South honors after leading the Camels with 48 RBI and 33 walks, while ranking second on the squad in on-base percentage (.411) and home runs (7).  He slugged .466 and batted .293 overall, and hit .327 in conference games.  Wolf received one first-place vote and 13 points in the preseason voting, ahead of Winthrop’s Scout McFalls (second with 11 points and two first-place votes) and Radford’s Straton Podaras (third with 10 points and one first-place vote).

Petit was also the 2020 Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year — the first Charleston Southern Buccaneer to be voted Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year since the award’s inception in 2007.  During the abbreviated 2020 season, he appeared in two games and allowed just one earned run in 5.0 innings pitched.  Petit was a First-Team All-Conference selection in 2019 and received Freshman All-America accolades from Collegiate Baseball.  The season he appeared in 20 games with two starts, went 3-0 with five saves and a 2.45 earned run average in 40.1 innings pitched.  He held opponents to a .163 batting average in 2019, fanned 50 batters — including 19 looking, and registered an 11.16 K/9 IP ratio.  Petit’s five saves were fourth-most in the Big South.  In conference action, Petit was 2-0 with four saves in 10 appearances, posted a 0.87 ERA, struck out 27 batters and held Big South hitters to a .143 batting average in 20.2 IP.  He received three first-place votes and 19 total points in this year’s preseason voting, ahead of USC Upstate’s Jordan Marks (12 points and three first-place votes) and Winthrop’s Colten Rendon (12 points and one-first-place vote). 

The 2021 baseball season begins Friday, Feb. 19, and the Big South conference schedule starts Friday, March 5.  This year, Big South teams will play 40 league games while allowing for each team to schedule up to 10 non-conference games as can be accommodated.  The schedule features 12 weekend 3-game series, plus four mid-week games in league play for all 10 playing members.  In 2021, the top four teams in the final conference standings will advance to the Big South Baseball Championship, which will be held May 27-29 at SEGRA Stadium in Fayetteville, N.C.  The champion receives the Big South’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

2021 Big South Conference Preseason Baseball Poll

  Rk   Team (first-place votes)      1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9      10     Points

    1.  Campbell (6)                   6      2      1      –      –      –      –      1      –      –         89

   2.  Winthrop (1)                    1      6      1      1      –      –      –      1      –      –         82              

   3.  USC Upstate (2)               2      1      2      1      3      1      –      –      –      –         75

   4.  Radford                         –      1      3      4      2      –      –      –      –      –         73

   5.  High Point (1)                   1      –      3      2      –      3      1      –      –      –         67

   6.  Gardner-Webb                 –      –      –      1      2      3      4      –      –      –         50

   7.  Charleston Southern         –      –      –      1      1      1      2      2      2      1         37

   8.  Presbyterian College         –      –      –      –      2      1      2      1      4      –         36

   9.  UNC Asheville                 –      –      –      –      –      –      1      4      3      2         24

  10.  Longwood                      –      –      –      –      –      1      –      1      1      7          17

Note: points are based on a weighted system, with first-place votes receiving 10 points, followed by 9 points for second-place, and so on.  



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