Texas-Lutheran Are ASC Baseball Favorites
January 23, 2007
RICHARDSON, Texas The University of Texas at Tyler and Texas Lutheran University have been predicted to win the 2007 American Southwest Conference East Division and West Division baseball title, respectively, by narrow margins after a vote of each the divisions head coaches and sports information directors as well as selected media members, the conference office announced on Tuesday.
Texas-Tyler, which returns 17 lettermen from a 28-11 squad that finished tied for second behind Mississippi College in the East Division last season and batted a conference-best .333, picked up 103 points and eight first-place votes. The University of Texas at Dallas (33-14 in 2006), which also tied for second last season and lost in the ASC Championship Tournament title game, was just two points shy of head coach James Vilades Patriots (101) and nabbed seven first-place votes. Mississippi College landed the other top-spot vote and tallied 78 points.
Louisiana Colleges 59 points put it in the fourth spot, followed by East Texas Baptist University (44 pts.), University of the Ozarks (42 pts.) and LeTourneau University (21 pts.).
Two-time defending ASC champion Texas Lutheran was picked to win the West Division with 145 points and nine of 18 possible first-place votes. Head coach Bill Millers Bulldogs finished 35-13 overall and reached the NCAA Division III West Regional championship game last season. They also had the ASCs top-rated pitching staff (3.37 ERA) and boasted the highest fielding percentage (.969). Hardin-Simmons University, which returns all but two players from 2006s roster that put together a 28-17 second-place season, was just five points away from TLU (140) and had eight first-place votes.
McMurry University (114 pts.) garnered a top-spot vote and came in third, followed by fellow 2006 ASC tournament team Concordia University at Austin (99 pts.). Howard Payne University (79 pts.), University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (65 pts.), Schreiner University (54 pts.) and Sul Ross State University (24 pts.) rounded out the West. Schreiner landed the final two first-place votes.
ASC cross-divisional action begins as early as February 23, with division play beginning March 9. The conference championship tournaments first round is set to begin on April 27 at on-campus locations with the championship round beginning May 4 at the East Divisions No. 1 seed. The winner receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.
* - Austin College (19-22, 9-12), which is no
longer a member of the ASC, competed in the East Division last season
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