WACO, Texas The McLennan Highlanders will begin their season Friday ranked third in the NJCAA Division I Baseball Poll. The Highlanders travel to Lufkin for a 1 p.m. doubleheader with Angelina before returning to Bosque River Ballpark for a noon doubleheader Monday with the Roadrunners.
Defending national champion Chipola (Florida) is ranked first, followed by Walters State (Tennessee) in second. Iowa Western and Jefferson (Missouri) are in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Cisco, a conference and regional opponent for McLennan, is ranked eighth and is the only other Texas team in the poll. Grayson and New Mexico, from Region V, are receiving votes along with Navarro from Region XIV.
The first regular season poll will be released March 5.
McLennan Baseball is ranked fourth in the Perfect Game’s Preseason JUCO Top 25.
Wabash Valley (Illinois) is ranked first, followed by Northwest Florida State in second and Central Arizona in third. Walters State (Tennessee) is fifth to round out the top five.
San Jacinto, from Region XIV, and Howard, a Region V foe for the Highlanders, are the only other Texas teams in the rankings. San Jacinto, listed at 11th in the rankings, is ineligible to compete in the 2019 postseason. Howard comes in at No. 16.