HIGH POINT, N.C. – After finishing second in last year’s regular season standings, High Point University baseball was selected as runner-ups in the 2019 Big South Preseason poll, while senior righty Andrew Gottfried was named the conference’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
With Campbell picked as favorites, HPU was the only other team in the Big South to receive multiple first-place votes, collecting a pair from two of the 10 conference coaches involved in the poll. The Panthers were selected to finish third in the 2018 poll, before registering a 19-8 conference record to come in second overall. High Point won its final six Big South regular season matchups to clinch a number-two seed in the conference tournament, getting as far as the championship final before falling to top-ranked Campbell.
Gottfried becomes the first Panther pitcher to receive preseason recognition since the award premiered in 2007, coming off a First Team All-Conference selection the previous campaign. With a 3.28 ERA in 2018, Gottfried has the lowest earned run average of any returning pitcher in the conference, while his .221 BAA in conference-play is the lowest of any player on a Big South roster. Striking out 72 batters in his junior season, Gottfried’s career K-total of 168 sits just eight behind the sum current Los Angeles Dodger Jaime Schultz collected during his time playing for the Panthers.
Returning 12 arms and six starters in the lineup, the Panthers will be looking for their 14th straight visit to the postseason in 2019 and their first-ever Big South Championship. High Point will open its coming regular season on the road next month, with Old Dominion hosting the Purple & White for a three-game series, starting February 15th in Norfolk.
Big South Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk Team (First-Place Votes) Points 1. Campbell (6) 86 2. High Point (2) 85 T3. Winthrop (1) 80 T3. Radford (1) 80 5. Gardner-Webb 60 6. Charleston Southern 42 7. Presbyterian 36 8. Longwood 35 9. USC Upstate 22 10. UNC Asheville 21