R-MC Picked to Repeat in ODAC Poll

Virginia Wesleyan, Lynchburg Round Out Top Three

SALEM, Va. --- Randolph-Macon College received 92 total poll points in the 2009 ODAC Baseball Preseason Poll as the Yellow Jackets were picked as the favorites to repeat as conference champions. R-MC also received six of the ten first place nods in the annual survey of the league's coaches. Following closely behind is Virginia Wesleyan College with 88 total markers and one first place tally.  Lynchburg College received three votes for the top spot and sits just two total poll points behind VWC.

Randolph-Macon claimed its third ODAC baseball title and closed its season with a 25-17 overall record and 12-6 in league competition. The Yellow Jackets proved best in the field, leading the league with a .962 fielding percentage. They made the second fewest errors (58), coming up just short of Washington and Lee's 52 miscues. R-MC was also ranked third with a .325 batting average. First Team All-ODAC selection, Mike Wallace, led the ODAC with a .438 batting average to go long with five homers and 43 runs batted in. Wallace returns for his junior season along with fellow First Team All-ODAC pick, Greg Meleski (.394 BA, 65 H, 41 RBI).  Back to solidify the starting rotation is 2008 ODAC Co-Pitcher and Co-Rookie of the Year, Byron Mendenhall.  He posted a 7-1 record with a 2.33 earned run average and 71 strikeouts in 69.2 innings of work.  Senior Nick Simons (2-0, 1.69) adds to the pitching stables.

Virginia Wesleyan (26-14-1, 13-5 ODAC) boasted the league's top pitching staff with a 3.48 team earned run average.  ODAC Co-Rookie and Co-Pitcher of the Year, Gary Bulman, headed up the rotation.  He finished with an 8-0 record and a 2.12 ERA, good for fourth in the league.  He fanned 54 batters in 59.1 innings on the hill, allowing only 40 hits.  Senior C.J. Rhodes is the top bat returning for the Marlins.  Last season, he hit at a .367 clip with four homeruns and 43 RBI.  All-ODAC Second Team selection, Phil Cadle (.347 BA, .956 FLD%), is a solid performer both at the dish and in the field.

Lynchburg (32-13, 15-3 ODAC) will have to replace the production of former player of the year, Ronnie Labrie (.428, 7 HR, 45 RBI, 31 SB), and fellow first teamer, Jon Crews (.374, 7, 59), following graduation.  Right-hander, Joe Devlin, and third baseman, Jeff Taylor, both return following All-ODAC First Team seasons.  Devlin led the league with a 9-0 record and a 1.02 earned run average.  A control pitcher, Devlin walked only 16 batters in 70.1 innings.  Taylor finished ninth in the conference with a .392 batting average with 42 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 30 attempts.

Listed below is the 2009 ODAC Baseball Preseason Poll.  To learn more about ODAC Baseball, visit any of the participating schools' websites or the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.

2009 ODAC Baseball Preseason Poll
(#) denotes first place votes

1. Randolph-Macon (6)

92 pts.

2. Virginia Wesleyan (1)

88 pts.

3. Lynchburg (3)

86 pts.

4. Bridgewater

71 pts.

5. Washington and Lee

61 pts.

6. Hampden-Sydney

42 pts.

7. Roanoke

40 pts.

8. Guilford

34 pts.

9. Eastern Mennonite

19 pts.

10. Emory & Henry

17 pts.