The River States Conference was formerly known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1916-2016 but changed its name effective July 1, 2016 as part of a re-branding.
IU Southeast, coming off a season of 43-15 overall and 27-1 conference, received six of nine first-place votes and 61 points in the voting conducted by the nine RSC baseball head coaches. The Grenadiers ran away with the conference regular season title winning 27 of 28 games. They finished the year ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Top 25 and competed in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round.
University of Rio Grande (Ohio) was edged out for the top spot in the preseason poll by two votes. The RedStorm were 39-25 overall, 17-11 KIAC and won their second conference tournament championship in a row. Rio Grande received the remaining three first place votes and got 59 points. The RedStorm advanced to the NAIA Baseball Opening Round once again.
Point Park (Pa.) University is picked third in the poll with 48 points, which is right in front of WVU Tech picked fourth with 46 points. Point Park took third place in the KIAC standings last year at 28-24, 20-8.
WVU Tech posted a 40-win season at 40-16 overall, 21-7 KIAC to place second in the standings. The Golden Bears reached the conference tournament semifinals.
Midway (Ky.) University was picked fifth in the poll with 34 points. The Eagles are a new addition to the conference baseball offerings as a first-year program at the school.
Asbury (Ky.) University was chosen sixth in the poll with 30 points and is coming off a season of 22-29, 12-16 KIAC last year. The Eagles are 3-1 so far this year with fall games now countable in the NAIA.
Brescia (Ky.) University was tabbed seventh in the polls with 23 points. The Bearcats were 12-43 overall, 7-19 KIAC last year and made it into the final four teams remaining in the KIAC Tournament.
Ohio Christian (15-33, 5-23 in 2016) and Cincinnati Christian (3-43, 2-26) rounded out the poll in eighth and ninth place with 14 and 9 votes, respectively.
The top six teams make the RSC Tournament, a double-elimination tournament that has the winner qualifying automatically to the NAIA Baseball Opening Round.
2017 RIVER STATES CONFERENCE BASEBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL (NOV. 8)
(First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. IU Southeast (6)
2. Rio Grande (Ohio) (3)
3. Point Park (Pa.)
4. WVU Tech
5. Midway (Ky.)
6. Asbury (Ky.)
7. Brescia (Ky.)
8. Ohio Christian
9. Cincinnati Christian