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Several area teams ranked in preseason baseball poll

Several area teams ranked in preseason baseball poll

March 14th, 2019 by News Tribune in Sports Prep

Several area teams were listed in the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason rankings, which were released Wednesday.

The Helias Crusaders received the No. 6 ranking in the Class 4 poll. The Crusaders were sixth in last season's final poll after losing 1-0 to eventual state champion Aurora in the quarterfinals.

Helias, which finished with a 20-8 record in 2018, opens this season Friday at Marshall.

In Class 3, the South Callaway Bulldogs are ranked No. 4, while the Blair Oaks Falcons are receiving votes.

The Bulldogs finished with a 22-9 record last season, losing 2-1 to state runner-up Strafford in the quarterfinals and ending the postseason ranked No. 5. They open the 2019 season Saturday with home games against North Callaway and Kirksville.

The Falcons had a 14-18 record last season, but they drop to Class 3 after playing in Class 4 for the past two seasons. Blair Oaks will open this season Saturday with a doubleheader at Camdenton.

The Russellville Indians received the No. 2 ranking in Class 2, following a third-place finish at state last season. The Indians posted a 20-14 record after beating Skyline 6-4 in the third-place game.

The Indians begin their season Friday with a rematch at Skyline.

Russellville is in Class 2 District 9 with two other state-ranked teams: No. 7 Vienna and No. 9 Iberia.

Vienna (22-5 in 2018) hosts Lincoln and Waynesville on Saturday, while Iberia (17-3 in 2018) plays Saturday against Versailles and Smithton at Versailles.

Eugene is also receiving votes in Class 2. The Eagles posted a 10-6 record last season and open this season Friday at Stover.

In Class 1, the St. Elizabeth Hornets begin the season ranked No. 2. They finished 2018 with the same ranking after falling to Oran 4-1 in the state championship game, finishing with a 16-6 record.

The Hornets will open the season Friday at Stoutland.

Beginning the season ranked No. 1 are Vianney in Class 5, Aurora in Class 4, Strafford in Class 3, Valle Catholic in Class 2 and Cooter in Class 1.