Tulane picked third, Olthoff tabbed AAC Pitcher of the Year in preseason poll

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Tulane junior Braden Olthoff

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University baseball team was picked to finish the 2021 season third, as the American Athletic Conference released its Preseason Poll on Wednesday. The preseason poll was voted on by the league’s head coaches.

In addition to its third-place preseason ranking, Tulane also received one first-place vote following a 2020 campaign that saw the Green Wave finish the year ranked No. 20 in the D1Baseball.com Top 25 poll. Tulane also earned national rankings in the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball national polls.

The Green Wave finished 2020 with a 15-2 mark, including an 11-1 record at home. Tulane ended the year on a nine-game winning streak.

Redshirt junior Braden Olthoff headlined the list of individuals named to the preseason all-league team, as he was selected AAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. In addition, Olthoff was one of only five players in the league to earn unanimous selections to the preseason all-conference team.

Joining Olthoff on the preseason all-conference unit was redshirt junior third baseman Trevor Minder.

Olthoff’s honor adds to a growing list of accolades which also includes being named as a preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. The California native posted perhaps the best start to a career by a pitcher in program history with a 4-0 record in four starts while posting a microscopic 0.32 ERA with 47 strikeouts across 28 innings of work. He also walked just three batters and held opposing hitters to just 12 hits and a .128 batting average.

Minder earned the preseason all-conference nod following a 2020 campaign where he finished the year with .359 batting average, three home runs and 14 RBI. In addition, the Springfield, Illinois, native posted 23 hits, five doubles and scored a team-best 20 runs.

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American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll
1. East Carolina (7) – 49
2. UCF – 39
3. Tulane (1) – 36
4. Houston – 34
5. Wichita State – 25
6. Cincinnati – 15
7. Memphis – 14
8. USF – 12

First-place votes in parenthesis

Preseason Player of the Year
Hunter Goodman, So., C, Memphis

Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Braden Olthoff, R-Jr., Tulane

Preseason All-Conference Team
P – Colton Gordon, R-So., UCF
P – Evan Shawver, Jr., Cincinnati
P – Jake Kuchmaner, Jr., East Carolina*
P – Braden Olthoff, R-Jr., Tulane*
P – Liam Eddy, Jr., Wichita State
RP – Jack Sinclair, Jr., UCF
C – Hunter Goodman, So., Memphis*
1B – Ryan Hernandez, Jr., Houston
2B – Connor Norby, So., East Carolina
SS – Ben Brooks, Jr., Memphis
3B – Eric Santiago, Sr., Cincinnati
3B – Trevor Minder, R-Jr., Tulane
OF – Thomas Francisco, So., East Carolina
OF – Bryson Worrell, Jr., East Carolina*
OF – Couper Cornblum, Fr., Wichita State
DH – Wyatt Stapp, Sr., Cincinnati*

* denotes unanimous selection

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