The University of Scranton baseball team has been close to its goal of a Landmark Conference championship in two of the past four years, losing in the championship series both times. According to a preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors, the Royals will be in the mix for the title again in 2012.
The Royals are picked to finish third according to the poll, which was released Wednesday by Landmark Conference associate commissioner Joel Cookson. The Royals received 41 points, coming in behind defending champion Catholic University and Moravian College, who tied for first with 58 points.
The Royals advanced to the Landmark Conference championship last spring before falling to Catholic. Scranton finished the season 24-18, the second time in four years they eclipsed the 20-win plateau. The Royals were 26-16 in 2008 when they also lost in the conference championship to Catholic.
Susquehanna was voted fourth, six points behind Scranton with 35. Merchant Marine Academy came in fifth in the voting with 24 points, Juniata placed sixth with 23 points, and Drew was chosen to finish seventh with 13 points.
Scranton opens the 2012 season when they face Albright in a doubleheader on March 3 at noon at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J. The Royals open Landmark Conference play on March 17-18 when they host Juniata in a three-game series at Connell Park.