D1Baseball.com has published its SoCon predictions for 2021, and the site has Samford running the table and ultimately winning the conference.
Samford was also picked to make the College Baseball Regionals, as the only selection from the SoCon. Two standouts from the squad, Brooks Carlson and Sam Strickland were selected among the top 10 pro prospects in the SoCon as well.
Carlson has also been named preseason All-American by both D1Baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball. Strickland was named third team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
In a COVID-shortened 2020 season, Carlson ranked second in the nation in batting with a .500 (25-of-50) average. He hit four doubles and three home runs, and drove in 19 runs.
Carlson led the Southern Conference in batting average, and he tied for the league lead in hits with 25. He also ranked third in the league in RBI (19) and fourth in total bases (38).
In four appearances in the shortened season, Strickland posted a record of 3-0, with an impressive 1.17 Earned Run Average. Strickland struck out 30 batters, while allowing just one walk.
Strickland ranked fourth in the Southern Conference in fewest runs allowed (4), and he tied for fourth in the SoCon in wins (3). He also ranked fifth in the league in ERA (1.17), strike outs (30) and strike outs per game (11.74).
The Bulldogs will open the 2021 season on Feb. 19, when Samford begins a three-game series against Tennessee Martin at Joe Lee Griffin Field in Birmingham.