Creighton received one first place vote from the Valley coaches, as they checked in at third in the preseason poll of the league’s coaches, it was announced by the league office on the Tuesday. Elliot Soto (SS), Robbie Knight (OF) and Bobby Lackovic (RP) were also named to the league’s preseason all-conference team. The three selections tied with Missouri State for most among the eight Valley teams.
The Bluejays finished 31-25 overall, ending the regular season with a fourth-place MVC finish, courtesy of a 14-9 league mark. Creighton had 50 points in the poll, two points behind second-place Missouri State and seven behind the preseason favorite, Wichita State.
Illinois State checked in at fourth with 38 points, followed by Southern Illinois with 33 points. Indiana State checked in at sixth (29), Evansville was slotted in seventh (16) and Bradley rounded out the poll in eighth, with 13 points.
Soto, a first-team all-Valley selection last season, is slated to reclaim his starting role at short. He finished 2009 with a .322 average, 26 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He led the team in at-bats (239), sacrifices (11) and stolen bases while tying for the team lead in hits, with 77.
Knight was a second-team all-MVC pick in 2009 after leading the team in batting average (.344), runs (48), doubles (18), walks (36), on-base percentage (.460) and tied with hits (77) and triples (4).
Lackovic joined Knight on the all-Valley second team after leading the team with six wins and appearing in 34 games. He finished with a 6-1 record, a save, and a 3.55 ERA in 45.2 innings of work. His 34 appearances were good for 13th best in the NCAA in 2009.
The Jays narrowly missed earning a berth in last year¹s NCAA Tournament, losing in the MVC title game. They return six position starters and a plethora of pitching talent. The season opens up on February 20th with an 11:00 a.m. game against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, followed by a 4:00 p.m. tilt with Central Arkansas.