ST. LOUIS – The Westminster baseball team was chosen to finish third in the West Division of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, based on a poll from the league's head coaches.
Webster, who opens the season nationally ranked, was picked to finish first followed by Fontbonne. Westminster received one first-place vote and was picked to finish third. The West Division also includes Eureka and Iowa Wesleyan.
First-year Head Coach Zach Bishop will lead a squad that features five returning All-SLIAC Players.
Senior catcher Branden Beeler was a First Team All-Conference pick last season after leading the SLIAC with a .403 batting average. Beeler also finished second in on-base percentage (.474) and slugging percentage (.672) and has been named to the SLIAC Preseason Watch List.
Senior Ryan Clavin led the league with a .804 slugging percentage and tied for the lead in home runs with 10. Clavin also finished third in batting average and was named Second Team All-Conference and ABCA/Rawlings All-Central Regional First Team. The returning offensive core is rounded out by sophomore infielder Hayden Hirschvogel and senior outfielder Will Stonecipher, who were both named to All-Conference Third Team last season.
Reigning SLIAC Newcomer of the Year Mason Kirkweg is the top returning pitcher for the Blue Jays. Kirkweg posted a 5-3 record last season with a 3.15 ERA and 49 strikeouts.
The Blue Jays open their season with a pair of doubleheaders at the University of the Ozarks on Feb. 15-16. They will make their home debut with a four-game series against Simpson on March 7-8.
The full release from the SLIAC can be found here.