In our Bear Nation report, the Valley coaches have picked the Bears to finish second behind Wichita State in Wednesday's preseason poll.
The Bears are already working out at the Rowe indoor facility at Hammons Field.
Missouri State returns the bulk of its young pitching and finished just one point behind the Shockers in the poll.
Bears outfielder Tate Matheny and pitcher Jon Harris were named preseason all-conference.
"We return a lot of our pitching staff," said MSU coach Keith Guttin. "Of course we lose three time All-American Nick Petree so somebody will have to step up on Fridays and take on the other aces. But positionally we return four or five everyday players.."
"Both programs are very good," said MSU infielder Eric Cheray. "Wichita State had a good year last year like we did. I look forward going throughout the year and competiting with those guys."
Here's a look at the poll, the Shockers picked up six first place votes, the Bears the other two.
Illinois State is third, then Valley baseball newcomer Dallas Baptist and Southern Illinois.
Evansville, Indiana State and Bradley round out the Valley baseball preseason poll.
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