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Northwest Baseball Opens Season with No. 7 NJCAA Ranking

Photo courtesy of Northwest Sports Information
Under the direction of 13th-year head coach Mark Carson, Northwest Mississippi Community College will open the 2018 baseball season ranked No. 7 by the NJCAA – its highest preseason ranking in 15 years.
“It’s humbling that coaches around our league and the country have that opinion of our program,” Carson said. “Preseason rankings are a good starting point, but at the end of the day, you have to go prove your worth and earn that NJCAA national ranking.”
Northwest returns 18 players from last year’s 32-19 MACJC runner-up squad and picked up two, key SEC transfers in the offseason in outfielders Brant Blaylock (MSU) and Hayden Leatherwood (Vanderbilt).
Despite losing its top three hitters from a year ago in David Herrington, Spencer Cayten and Aaron Campbell, the Rangers return eight pitchers, including three starters, and have reloaded at all positions with a strong freshman class.
Defending MACJC champion Jones County is the preseason No. 1 and fellow MACJC member and NJCAA Region 23 champion Hinds comes in at No. 19.
The Rangers open the 2018 season on Saturday, Feb. 10 against Lincoln Trail, the first of 12 straight games at Jim Miles Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon.
NJCAA Division II Preseason Poll
1. Jones County (4)
2. Kankakee (2)
3. Mercer County
4. Parkland
5. Western Oklahoma State
6. Pitt
7. Northwest Mississippi
8. LSU Eunice
9. Chandler-Gilbert
10. Murray State
11. Heartland
12. Sinclair
13. Southeast
14. Kellogg
15. Mesa
16. UConn Avery Point
17. Catawba Valley
18. McHenry County
19. Hinds
20. Frederick

Courtesy of Northwest Sports Information

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