March 2, 2004
Lancaster, PA - The Johns Hopkins baseball team was selected to the top spot in the Centennial Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches' Poll announced Tuesday.
The Blue Jays, who went 34-7 last season and 16-2 in the league, won their third consecutive conference tournament title and appeared in the NCAA Regionals, received 79 points and eight of the 10 first place votes. Ursinus was picked second with 70 points and a first place vote, while Franklin & Marshall received 58 points and the other first place vote to finish third.
Muhlenberg, which fell to Hopkins in last year's tournament final, was picked fourth with 54 points, while Gettysburg was fifth with 52 points. Haverford (48), McDaniel (43), Dickinson (24), Swarthmore (15) and Washington College (15) rounded out the poll.
Hopkins will be led offensively this season by junior center fielder Paul Winterling (Glenelg, MD/McDonogh), who was named the 2003 league player of the year after batting .397 with team-highs of 12 home runs and 46 runs batted in. Senior righthander Jeremy Brown (Baltimore, MD/McDonogh), the 2003 conference pitcher of the year, returns after posting an 8-2 record last season with a 3.27 earned run average.
The Blue Jays, who were rained out last Friday, are scheduled to open their 2004 season this Friday with a 2:30 p.m. home game against Messiah. Hopkins will then host SUNY New Paltz Sunday in a doubleheader beginning at 12 noon.
Centennial Conference Preseason Baseball Poll 1. Johns Hopkins (8) 79 2. Ursinus (1) 70 3. Franklin & Marshall (1) 58 4. Muhlenberg 54 5. Gettysburg 52 6. Haverford 48 7. McDaniel 43 8. Dickinson 24 T9. Swarthmore 15 T9. Washington College 15-30-