RICHMOND – After a strong showing in conference play last season and with 35 or more wins over the last four years, the expectation for VCU Baseball is still high as the Rams were selected to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches Poll. The conference released the results of the poll on Thursday afternoon.

This is the third consecutive year the Rams have been named second, earning 153 total points in the poll, four behind first place Saint Louis with 157. VCU earned three first-place votes, while Saint Louis came in with six. 

Behind VCU came Rhode Island in third, which earned 146 points and two first place votes. Rounding out the top five was George Mason and last year’s A-10 Tournament champion, Davidson. Davidson also earned two first-place votes. 

Finishing outside the top five, in order, was George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, Fordham, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Dayton, Massachusetts, and La Salle. 

The Rams return pitching depth, as senior Sean Thompson enters his final campaign on the mound for VCU. The team also added pitching depth, making that along with solid defense as the strengths for the team in 2018. Seniors Mitchel Lacey, Daane Berezo, Haiden Lamb, and last year’s A-10 Rookie of the Year Paul Witt will be looked upon to lead an offense that also features last year's A-10 All-Rookie selection Steven Carpenter. 

VCU open their season next Friday, as they will travel to Lynchburg to take on Liberty in the three-game series at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Times for the games are slated for 3 p.m., 2 p.m., and 1 p.m. The Rams home opener at The Diamond is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. in a matchup with the Maryland Terrapins.