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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
ISU Baseball Ties For Third In Preseason Poll, Manaea And Ort Named All-MVC
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

ST. LOUIS - In a vote conducted by the eight head coaches from around the Missouri Valley Conference, the Indiana State baseball team was picked to finish in third place during the upcoming 2013 season. Senior Rob Ort and junior Sean Manaea also earned preseason honors, each being selected to the Preseason All-MVC Team.

Coming off their first outright regular season Missouri Valley Conference championship in program history and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1995, the Sycamores return 14 total letterwinners, five position starters and seven pitchers from last year's squad that finished 41-19 on the season and participated in the NCAA Regional in Eugene, Ore. Indiana State welcomes 14 newcomers to the team and will have six student-athletes eligible after redshirting in 2012.

Sophomore Landon Curry (.322, 49 runs, 68 hits, 16-for-17 stolen bases) and Ort (.291, 69 hits 20 doubles, seven home runs, 54 RBIs) highlight the returning hitters for the Sycamores while Manaea (5-3, 3.34 ERA, 105 IP, 115 strikeouts) is primed for a big season on the mound after his breakout summer season in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. The junior left-handed pitcher has already earned First Team Preseason All-American honors from Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Two of the biggest losses for the Sycamores heading into the 2013 season came because of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Jeremy Lucas, the 2012 Joe Carter MVC Player of the Year, and Dakota Bacus, the 2012 MVC Newcomer of the Year, were both selected in the draft and signed professional contracts during the offseason.

Missouri State was voted as the preseason favorite in the league, receiving six first-place votes and 60 points overall. Wichita State (one first-place vote, 47 points) checks in second while Illinois State (one first-place vote, 45 points) and Indiana State (45 points) tied for third. Southern Illinois (36 points), Bradley (21 points), 2012 MVC Tournament champions Creighton (18 points) and Evansville (16 points) round out the bottom half of the preseason poll.

Indiana State will face a tough MVC schedule this season despite having four home series against three on the road. ISU's three road trips in conference play are against the top three teams in the preseason poll, as the Sycamores travel to Missouri State on March 29-31, Wichita State on April 5-7 and Illinois State on April 19-21. Indiana State's home series are against Southern Illinois (March 22-24), Creighton (April 12-14), Evansville (May 3-5) and Bradley (May 16-18). Illinois State will host the 2013 MVC Tournament at Duffy Bass Field, beginning on Tuesday, May 21.

The opening weekend of the 2013 Indiana State baseball season begins on Feb. 15-17, as the Sycamores travel to Huntsville, Ala., for four games in the Bulldog Classic hosted by Alabama A&M. Indiana State's first games of the season on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium come on March 6-10, as the Sycamores host the Indiana Hoosiers on Wednesday, March 6, before welcoming South Dakota State and Mercer in a three-team tournament on March 8-10.

2013 Preseason Baseball Poll
1. Missouri State (6) ... 60
2. Wichita State (1) ... 47
T3. Illinois State (1) ... 45
T3. Indiana State ... 45
5. Southern Illinois ... 36
6. Bradley ... 21
7. Creighton ... 18
8. Evansville ... 16

2013 Preseason All-MVC Team
C - Luke Voit, Missouri State
1B - Johnny Coy, Wichita State
2B - Chris Godinez, Bradley
3B - Zac Johnson, Illinois State
SS - Brett Kay, Illinois State
UT - Austin Montgomery, Southern Illinois
DH - Greg Partyka, Bradley
OF - Eric Aguilera, Illinois State
OF - Keenen Maddox, Missouri State
OF - Rob Ort, Indiana State
SP - Sean Manaea, Indiana State
SP - Nick Petree, Missouri State
RP - Tyler Burgess, Missouri State
RP - Todd Eaton, Southern Illinois

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