Winthrop baseball has been picked to win the Big South Conference by the league's coaches, earning six first-place votes. Junior Nate Pawelczyk has been named Preseason Pitcher of the Year, garnering 26 points and seven first-place votes.
Winthrop won the 2017 regular season conference championship with a 17-7 Big South record, 34-24 overall. The 2018 squad returns eight of its top 10 batters as well as Pawelczyk and 2017 Big South Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-American Colten Rendon on the mound.
Pawelczyk was a 2017 First Team All-Big South Conference honoree and finished the 2017 season ranked first in the league in several pitching categories including ERA (2.23), wins (7), opponent batting average (.192) and runs allowed (23). He was second in the league in earned runs (19), third in hits allowed (53) and led the Eagles in strikeouts with 69.
Winthrop opens the season on Fri., Feb. 16 on the road at SEC foe Ole Miss at 4 p.m. Opening Day at Winthrop Ballpark is set for Fri., Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. as the Eagles host University of Maryland Eastern Shore in a three-game weekend series.
2018 Big South Conference Preseason Baseball Poll
Rk Team (first-place votes)
1. Winthrop (6)
2. Liberty (2)
3. High Point (1)
4. Radford (1)
6. Presbyterian College
8. Charleston Southern
9. UNC Asheville
Press release provided by Winthrop University Marketing and Communications