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Lamar picked third in Southland baseball poll

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – The Lamar baseball team was picked to finish towards the top of the Southland Conference for the 2017 campaign by league head coaches and sports information directors, the conference announced with its preseason polls Thursday.

The Cardinals, who finished last season in third place with a 35-19 record, was picked to finished third in both polls for the 2017 season. Last season’s regular season and tournament champion Sam Houston was first in both polls and Southeastern Louisiana was chosen second.

“I think most coaches judge this on what we did last year, and we bring back a lot from that team. It shows some of the respect that we have,” said head coach Will Davis. “Obviously we don’t want to end the year in third. We’ll be that until the year starts and then we’ll work to get to the top.”

Lamar, which opens its first season under Davis, returns 16 letterwinners from 2016 including six starters from the regular starting lineup. Among those is preseason All-American Reid Russell and Perfect Game preseason all-conference Bryndan Arredondo. Both were first-team all-league winners after last year.

Back with them are seniors Cutter McDowell (.305, five home runs, 28 RBI), Trey Silvers (.314/3/21) and Brendan Satran (.248/5/23). Back on the mound are seniors Jimmy Johnson (7-2/4.06 ERA/35 strikeouts) and Brett Brown (1-0/4.75/23).

Perfect Game also picked the Cardinals third in its poll.

Lamar opens its season on Feb. 17 in the Cardinal Classic – which features Illinois and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Cardinals will play four contests in the opening weekend and another four the next weekend against Fairfield. All eight games will be played at Vincent-Beck Stadium.