Jan 23, 2014 10:05 PM by TAMUK.COM
KINGSVILLE, Texas - Already ranked as high as fourth in the nation in preseason polls, the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team was picked to win the Lone Star Conference in the preseason poll of coaches, sports information offices and media released Wednesday by the league.
Coming off a record-breaking season that included 42 wins, top ranking in the South Central region, a LSC Tournament Championship and trip to the regional finals, the Javelinas received 10 first-place votes and 95 total points.
Angelo State was selected second with four votes for the top spot and 83 points, followed by last season's regular-season champion Tarleton State with 81 points and three first-place nods. West Texas A&M had the remaining vote for the top spot and 63 points. Cameron and Eastern New Mexico tied for fifth with 28 points.
Kingsville also swept the preseason awards for Lone Star Conference Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year. Taylor Taska received the nod for Player of the Year, while Dallas Ponder is the Pitcher of the Year. Both filled their respective trophy cases with postseason honors last year.
Taska earned multiple honors as a junior and led the conference in multiple categories after the season. The junior earned first-team All-America honors from Daktronics and was also named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II All-America Second Team as a utility player. He led the Lone Star Conference in home runs with seven, RBI with 52, and total bases with 126 en route to co-LSC Player of the Year honors. On the mound, he finished with a 9-3 record..
Ponder finished 10-2 last season sharing the LSC lead for wins and was second with 88 strikeouts in a league-best 88-1/3 innings. The right-handed pitcher finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record and earned his 10th win in the opening game of the NCAA South Central Regional He was the LSC Pitcher of the Year. Ponder was named to the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association Division II All-America Third Team.
Rank LSC Baseball 1st TOTAL
1 Texas A&M-Kingsville 10 95
2 Angelo State 4 83
3 Tarleton State 3 81
4 West Texas A&M 1 63
T5 Cameron 28
T5 Eastern New Mexico 28