FOREST, Va. -- The Washington and Lee baseball team has been picked fourth in the 2012 ODAC Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll as announced by the conference on Friday afternoon.
Bridgewater earned the top spot in the annual survey of league coaches with 79 points and 7-of-10 first-place votes. Defending ODAC champion Randolph-Macon received the remaining three first-place votes and came in second with 69 points. Lynchburg (64), W&L (53), Hampden-Sydney (46), Virginia Wesleyan (43), Guilford (41), Roanoke (21), Eastern Mennonite (20) and Emory & Henry (14) rounded out the poll.
The Generals, who finished 15-16 overall last season, but posted a 12-6 conference mark, graduated just two players and return four all-conference players from a season ago in junior catcher/designated hitter Will Salley (Augusta, Ga./Westside), junior shortstop Jonathan Stutts (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day), senior outfielder C.J. Thompson (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Nease) and junior righthander Ian Shaw (Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood).
Salley finished last season third in the ODAC with a .407 batting average to go with a team-high 44 hits, including 11 doubles and a home run. He also drew a team-best 20 walks and drove in 19 runs with 30 runs scored en route to earning First Team All-ODAC laurels.
Stutts, a Second Team All-ODAC honoree last season, led the Generals with 27 RBIs while hitting .318. He clubbed eight doubles, three triples and two home runs, and was perfect 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts.
Thompson finished the season with a .299 overall batting average, but hit .463 in ODAC games. He drove in 13 runs on 67 hits, including three doubles, two triples and a home run as he joined Stutts on the all-conference second team.
Also returning for the Generals is Shaw, who earned Honorable Mention All-ODAC accolades a season ago. He finished his sophomore campaign with a 2.63 ERA in 37.2 innings. Shaw appeared in 13 contests, including four starts, and posted a 3-3 record with 26 strikeouts against just nine walks. His 1.95 ERA in conference games was the fourth-best mark in the league and all three of his victories came against conference foes.
The Generals open the 2012 season on Feb. 12, when they travel to Averett for an afternoon doubleheader beginning at 12:00 pm.