Jessup ranked 13th in preseason coaches poll

Three named All-American
By: Brianna Campbell for The News Messenger
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With the 2019 campaign just months away, the William Jessup University baseball team received national recognition this week with the announcement of the NAIA Top-25 Preseason Coaches Poll naming the Warriors 13th in the country and three individuals named to the 2019 NAIA Preseason All-American team.

Head coach in his second season for the Warriors, Jake McKinley said, "We feel honored to be held in high regard by coaches across the country. At the same time, we understand that we have a really long way to go as a team and maintaining success in our program is dependent on a daily commitment to hard work. I trust we have the right personnel to see that through."

The Warriors capped the season with a record-setting 41-17 finish with their first Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season championship, GSAC Tournament Championship, and first-ever appearance in the postseason for the NAIA Opening Round. The final poll placed the Warriors 12th overall in the nation, with Austen Swift being named to the 2018 NAIA All-American Team.

To start the 2019 campaign, the Warriors 13th-ranked Warriors were informed by the NAIA of additional honors Wednesday Swift, Cal Koga, and Tyler Fujimoto were named to the 2019 Preseason All-American Team.

Each start their senior season for the Warriors, as the program's first preseason All-American recipients.

Koga plays behind the dish heading into his second season. Last year, he appeared in 54 games, starting 51 of them with the fourth-best batting average on the team (.344).

Fujimoto finished the season 8-3 on the mound for Jessup, recording a season-high seven saves with a 3.19 ERA.

Swift led the Warriors with a .365 batting average, tied for first with 18 home runs and a team-high 60 RBIs.

"These three guys are exceptional baseball players, but they are far better people and teammates," McKinley said of the preseason All-Americans. "They are glue guys in our program and we feel extremely fortunate to have them on our team."

This is the seventh-consecutive poll in which the Warriors have been ranked, making their program first appearance in March at seventh overall in the country. The Warriors will start the season on Jan. 25, as they host Corban University at McBean Park.

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