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UMass baseball tabbed 10th in Atlantic 10 preseason coaches poll

The Massachusetts baseball team was picked to finish 10th out of the Atlantic 10 Conference’s 15 teams, according to the 2013 coaches poll released on the conference’s official website on Thursday.

The Minutemen, who finished the 2012 season fifth in the A-10 standings with a 14-10 conference record and 22-22 record overall, were awarded a total of 89 points in the voting and were one of 12 teams to not receive a first-place vote.

Leading in the poll was two-time A-10 champion Saint Louis, which received 210 points overall and 10 first-place votes. The Billikens, who are led by reigning A-10 Coach of the Year Darin Hendrickson, won a program-record 41 games in 2012 en route to claiming their first ever share of the conference’s regular season title.

Also receiving first-place nods in a cluster atop of the rankings were Rhode Island, which finished second in the poll with 197 points and two first-place votes, and A-10 newcomer Virginia Commonwealth, which came in third with 193 points and three first-place votes.

Charlotte, picked first in last season’s preseason poll, was selected fourth with 168 points, and Dayton rounded out the top-5 with 149 points.

Sitting above UMass, which cracked the top-10 after being ranked 12th by the coaches in 2012, were Richmond in sixth (147), Xavier in seventh (146), Saint Joseph’s in eighth (120) and Fordham in ninth (109).

Rounding out the poll below the Minutemen were, in descending order, St. Bonaventure (74), La Salle (67), Temple (56), Butler, the other new A-10 program for 2013 (42), and George Washington (33) in last.

UMass is set to have its 2013 opening day on March 1 against Notre Dame in Cary, N.C., as part of the Irish Baseball Classic.

Daniel Malone can be reached at dmalone@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Daniel_Malone.

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