KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Fort Hays State baseball team opens the 2020 season ranked 12th in the MIAA Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll, released Thursday (Jan. 23) by the league office.

The Tigers picked up 16 points in the balloting process, just five points behind 11th-ranked Newman. Defending champion Central Missouri topped the poll with 120 points thanks to 10 first-place votes. Central Oklahoma is ranked second with 107 points and one first-place vote, while third-ranked Missouri Southern topped the final ballot.

Head coach Jerod Goodale and his coaching staff were busy during the offseason, bringing in 27 new players for the 2020 roster, including 18 transfers and nine freshmen. The new class joins eight players returning from last season. This year's senior class is made up of just six Tigers.

Fort Hays State is set to open the season on Friday, January 31 when the Tigers host MSU Denver for a four-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. before the series continues with doubleheader on Saturday, February 1 and a Sunday, February 2 finale. First pitch is slated for noon on both Saturday and Sunday. The Tigers will open their 33-game conference schedule on the road against Pittsburg State Feb. 28-Mar. 1.