Conference previews: Patriot and SWAC

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PATRIOT LEAGUE

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Army
2. Holy Cross
3. Bucknell
4. Navy
5. Lafayette
6. Lehigh
ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
C B.J. LaRosa, Bucknell
1B Kevin McKague, Army
2B Zach Price, Army
SS Clint Moore, Army
3B Matt Perry, Holy Cross
OF Ben Koenigsfeld, Army
OF Andy Russell, Lehigh
OF Andrew Brouse, Bucknell
DH Joey Henshaw, Army
SP Matt Fouch, Army
SP Ben Koenigsfeld, Army
SP Trey Frahler, Bucknell
RP Luke Roberts, Navy
BEST PITCHER
Ben Koenigsfeld, Army
BEST HITTER
Clint Moore, Army

Army has a chance to do something special this season.

The Black Knights finished last season with an impressive 36-21 record. But most important was the fact they fought hard against national runner-up Texas in the Austin Regional.

Now, the Knights hope to build off that postseason appearance.

They are the pick to repeat as Patriot League champions.

Hoy Cross will be improved and Bucknell is close behind. Also, Navy and Lafayette will be improved but will find it tough to make up too much ground with Army, Holy Cross and Bucknell expected to have better campaigns.

All eyes are on Army this spring.

AT A GLANCE
Regular-season winner last season: Army
Tournament winner last season: Army

New coaches: None
Coach on the rise: Joe Sottolano, Army
Rising stock: Army
Falling stock: Lehigh
Regional contenders: Army
Injuries to note: None

SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
Eastern division
1. Jackson State
2. Alcorn State
3. Mississippi Valley State
4. Alabama A&M
5. Alabama State
Western division
1. Southern
2. Texas Southern
3. Grambling
4. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
5. Prairie View A&M
ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
C Cortez Cole, Jackson State
1B Eduardo Gonzalez, Alcorn State
2B Chris Davis, Alabama State
SS Braneric Holmes, Jackson State
3B Frank Solis, Jackson State
OF Rodney Warren, Alcorn State
OF Chad Hall, Jackson State
OF James Armstrong, Southern
DH Josh Brumfield, Alcorn State
SP Jarrett Maloy, Southern
SP Britt Goodman, Mississippi Valley State
SP Ben Blackburn, Prairie View A&M
RP Quintavious Drains, Jackson State
BEST PITCHER
Jarrett Maloy, Southern
BEST HITTER
Eduardo Gonzalez, Alcorn State

Southern earned another NCAA regional berth last season.

The Jaguars hope to make a return trip this season.

The Jaguars welcome back several key players, including ace pitcher Jarrett Maloy and outfielder James Armstrong.

Jackson State also welcomes back several key cogs.

Alcorn State and Texas Southern are the prime candidates to be pleasant surprises.

Prairie View A&M, though, needs a productive season. PVAMU was a rising SWAC program just a few seasons ago. But last season, the Panthers finished last in the western division with a dismal 9-15 record.

Southern is the pick to win the conference crown.

AT A GLANCE
Regular-season winner last season: Mississippi Valley State
Tournament winner last season: Southern

New coaches: Barrett Rey (Alcorn State), James Cooper (Grambling)
Coach on the rise: Barrett Rey, Alcorn State
Rising stock: Alcorn State
Falling stock: Prairie View A&M
Regional contenders: Southern
Injuries to note: None

Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com. Follow him on Twitter and follow Yahoo! Sports College Baseball on Facebook. Send Kendall a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Monday, Feb 15, 2010