Chapman received six first place votes, secured 76 total points and was voted to finish first in the 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Baseball Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's member institutions.
Chapman notched six of nine first place votes, a second and two third place mentions to notch 76 points in the preseason voting. The Panthers earned the third seed in last year's SCIAC Postseason Tournament and after losing to second-seeded Redlands (13-6) in the opening round, defeated fourth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer (6-0) and top-seeded La Verne (10-3) before facing the Bulldogs in the championship contest. Needing to win twice, Chapman posted a 5-2 win, followed by a 20-12 triumph to capture the tournament crown and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. In the NCAA Division III Spokane Regional, the Panthers fell to Willamette, before edging Redlands, 6-5. Chapman then fell to Texas-Dallas to end its national tournament run with a 35-13 overall record (15-9 SCIAC).
Last year's top-seeded Leopards were tabbed to finish second heading into the 2019 campaign after receiving one first place vote and four second place nods en route to 68 points. La Verne posted a 29-14 overall ledger in 2018, highlighted by a 19-5 record in SCIAC play and a share of the regular season title. The Leopards earned the top seed on a tiebreaker, and after defeating Pomona-Pitzer in its first contest, fell to Redlands and Chapman both by way of a 10-3 score.
California Lutheran followed in third in the preseason voting with 65 points after notching a first place vote. The Kingsmen missed the SCIAC Postseason Tournament in 2018 following a 22-18 overall record, 11-18 in SCIAC play. Last season's co-regular season champion Redlands was picked to finish fourth in 2019 with 51 points. The Bulldogs posted a 33-13 record a year ago, highlighted by a 19-5 league slate and the second seed in the conference tournament. Redlands defeated Chapman and La Verne to earn a spot in the title contest, but fell twice to the Panthers. After earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, the Bulldogs fell to Texas-Dallas (3-1) and Chapman (6-5).
The fourth seed in last year's SCIAC Postseason Tournament, Pomona-Pitzer is tabbed to finish fifth ahead of the 2019 season after receiving 47 points on the strength of a first place vote. The Sagehens secured a 22-19 overall mark, and finished 12-12 in SCIAC action a year ago. Pomona-Pitzer fell to La Verne (24-14) and Chapman (6-0) in the SCIAC tournament.
Occidental edged Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) in the 2019 preseason voting, 34-33. The Tigers finished last year's campaign with a 19-20 overall ledger, while the Stags were 18-22 on the season. Occidental was one of three teams to finish 11-13 in SCIAC play, while CMS was 9-15 against conference competition.
Whittier also finished 11-13 in the SCIAC and 24-16 overall and was voted to finish eighth in 2019, while Caltech rounded out the preseason vote after finishing the 2018 season 4-33 overall (1-23 SCIAC).
The 2019 season begins Friday, Feb. 1 as Redlands hosts Pacific (Ore.) in a three-game set. Chapman enters the season ranked 20th in the nation according to D3baseball.com, with Cal Lutheran and Redlands also receiving votes in the D3baseball.com Top 25 Preseason Poll.
2019 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. Chapman (6) - 76 points
2. La Verne (1) - 68 points
3. Cal Lutheran (1) - 65 points
4. Redlands - 51 points
5. Pomona-Pitzer (1) - 47 points
6. Occidental - 34 points
7. CMS - 33 points
8. Whittier - 22 points
9. Caltech - 9 points