ASU received all but one of the 21 first-place votes on the ballots cast by LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives for 167 total points. The Rams are coming off a 2012 campaign in which they went 40-17, won both the LSC championship and tournament title and advanced to NCAA Division II South Central Regional.
Additionally, ASU's Lee Neumann was tabbed LSC Preseason Player of the Year. The senior outfielder from Brenham, Texas, finished the season with a .389 batting average, and led the league in hits (81), triples (9), slugging percentage (.668) and total bases (139) last season to earn co-LSC Player of the Year acclaim. Neumann also drove in 45 runs, scored 60 runs and stole 17 bases, while starting all 57 games for the Rams.
Tarleton State's Pete Perez was named LSC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. The senior right-hander from River City, Calif., posted an 8-3 record and league-best 2.06 ERA, .194 opposing batting average, 91.2 innings pitched, seven complete games and five shutouts. Perez recorded a team-high 83 strikeouts to lead the Texans to a runner-up finish at the LSC Tournament.
Texas A&M-Kingsville totaled 113 points with one first-place nod to narrowly finish second in the voting, ahead of Tarleton State (112) and Incarnate Word (110).
West Texas A&M was ranked fifth with 98 points, followed by Abilene Christian sixth (87), Cameron seventh (44) and Eastern New Mexico (25) rounded out the poll.
The 2013 season starts in early February with LSC teams playing a 7-week, single round-robin schedule with a four-game series against every other team. Each series shall consist of a 9-inning game Friday, a 7x7 doubleheader Saturday and 9-inning contest Sunday.
The overall LSC Champion will be the team(s) with the best winning percentage in regular-season conference games, while the winner of the postseason championship will be recognized as LSC Tournament Champion and receive the league's automatic qualification into NCAA postseason. The championship will be played May 3-6, in Canyon, Texas as part of the LSC Spring Championships Festival.
Here's a closer look at the voting breakdown for the conference:
Rank LSC Baseball 1st TOTAL
1 Angelo State 20 167
2 Texas A&M-Kingsville 1 113
3 Tarleton State 112
4 Incarnate Word 110
5 West Texas A&M 98
6 Abilene Christian 87
7 Cameron 44
8 Eastern New Mexico 25