The Nebraska-Kearney baseball team has been picked to win the 2011 Plains Division title, and to finish third overall, in the RMAC preseason coaches poll. In 2010, Kearney went 36-20 (20-12 RMAC), won the Plains Division and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history
Individually, senior 2B Jordan Mitchelhill (Melbourne, Australia) and senior 3B Luke Valerius (Lakewood, Colo.) were unanimous picks at their respective positions. Both earned all-conference honors last spring.
Mitchelhill started 53 games last year, batting .394 with two HR’s and 23 RBI’s. The Lopers lead off hitter, he scored a team-best 61 runs and had 129 assists in the field. Also a solid defender, Valerius finished 2010 at .356 with 33 RBI’s, 12 doubles and seven sac bunts.
UNK begins the 2011 season Feb. 19-20 with four games vs. Wayne State in Emporia, Kan. That series was originally set for the Metrodome but moved to Kansas due to the roof problems at the Dome. .