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WAUKESHA - The Lakeland College baseball team has been picked to finish tenth in the 2013 Northern Athletic Conference preseason poll of league coaches released by the conference on Tuesday.
The Muskies received 40 points in the poll, finishing ahead of Milwaukee School of Engineering (29 points) and Maranatha Baptist Bible College (12). Defending NAC champion Aurora (Ill.) University has been chosen as the conference favorite, finishing first in the poll with 138 points and seven first-place votes.
Aurora was one of four teams to receive first-place votes. Concordia University Chicago came in second in the poll (131 points) and received two first-place votes, while Benedictine (Ill.) University was third with 119 points as well as two first-place markers. Rockford (Ill.) College was fourth in the poll with 103 points and also received one first-place selection.
Aurora won last season's NAC title with an 18-4 record (38-10 overall). The Spartans followed it up with a third-straight NAC Tournament crown and went 2-2 in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional.
The NAC's six-team double-elimination tournament takes place May 10-12 at Concordia University Wisconsin's Kapco Park in Mequon. The tournament champion receives the NAC's automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Lakeland finished 17-21 overall last year, including 7-15 in the NAC to place 10th in the conference. The Muskies open their 2013 season on March 5 on the road against NCAA Division I University of Illinois-Chicago.
2013 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Aurora (7 first-place votes), 138
2. Concordia Chicago (2), 131
3. Benedictine (2), 119
4. Rockford (1), 103
5. Edgewood, 94
6. Dominican, 74
7. Marian, 71
8. Concordia Wisconsin, 64
9. Wisconsin Lutheran, 61
10. Lakeland, 40
11. MSOE, 29
12. Maranatha Baptist, 12