The American Athletic Conference announced the 2019 Preseason Coaches’ Poll and All-Conference Teams on Thursday. For a second straight year, USF baseball was picked to finish fifth, behind defending league-champion East Carolina, Houston, UConn and C.
The Bulls finished second in the AAC in 2018 with a 14-9-1 conference mark and 36-22-1 overall record, setting single-season conference records in batting average (.296), slugging percentage (.464), doubles (147) and total bases (951) to secure a third NCAA regional appearance in four years.
After advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time since 2012 and following elimination from the Stetson regional in DeLand, USF lost four players to the MLB Draft including first-rounder LHP Shane McClanahan and third baseman David Villar.
Also on Thursday, senior first baseman Joe Genord and fellow senior outfielder Kyle Phillips were named to the AAC Preseason All-Conference Team.
Genord tied for the conference’s lead with 16 home runs and recorded a .633 slugging percentage last season, all while hitting for a .306 average and knocking in 53 runs with 11 doubles.
Phillips, after transferring from Santa Fe College, finished second on the team with a .333 average, adding five homers, 13 doubles and 22 RBIs. He was also named to the DeLand Regional All-Tournament team.
USF will open the 2019 season on February 15 at home with a three-game series against Samford. The Bulls will play schools from seven different conferences and have 22 games against teams that appeared in an NCAA regional last year, including visits from Florida and Florida State.
View the entire schedule breakdown here.