MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande has been selected fourth in the 2022 River States Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
The poll, which was determined through balloting of the league’s nine head coaches, was released by conference officials on Thursday.
The RedStorm, who finished 20-34 overall and 12-15 in conference play last season, tallied 58 points in the voting.
Head coach Brad Warnimont’s squad opens its 2022 schedule on Jan. 28 at Bryan (Tenn.) College.
Coming off its NAIA World Series run last year and with a No. 7 NAIA Top 25 preseason national ranking this year, Indiana University Southeast was the unanimous favorite in the poll.
The Grenadiers, who were 50-16 last year, received all nine of the possible first-place votes and 81 total points in the poll.
IU Southeast won the RSC Regular Season Championship last year at 26-1 RSC and captured the RSC Championship postseason title as well. From there, the Grenadiers marched through the NAIA Opening Round Kingsport Bracket and went 2-2 at the NAIA World Series as one of the last teams left.
IU Southeast is one of only four NAIA programs to win 50 games last year and return several key players.
Point Park (Pa.) University, which is ranked No. 25 in the national preseason poll, was picked second in the conference this year with the remaining first-place vote and 73 points.
The Pioneers, who were 40-16 overall and 20-7 in the RSC last year, made the NAIA National Opening Round as the RSC runner-up.
Indiana University Kokomo was third in the poll with 62 points. The Cougars were 28-20 overall and 16-10 in RSC play.
Behind Rio Grande in fifth place was Midway (Ky.) University with 51 points. Both teams round out the playoff qualifiers from a year ago, which also included former conference member Asbury (Ky.) University.
Oakland City (Ind.) University was predicted as the final playoff qualifier in sixth place with 43 points. Next in the poll were Brescia (Ky.) University (29 points), WVU Tech (26 points) and Ohio Christian University (15 points).
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.