Tarleton State won its first Lone Star Conference regular season championship on the diamond in 2013, but the Texans are picked to finish third in the season ahead.
LSC officials in Richardson announced the league's preseason baseball poll Thursday, with Texas A&M-Kingsville, last season's LSC Tournament champ, picked first and Angelo State second.
The Texans received three first-place votes in polling of the league's head coaches, sports information personnel and designated media, and had 81 total points.
A&M-Kingsville was first on 10 ballots, Angelo State on four and West Texas A&M on one. WTAMU is picked fourth ahead of Cameron and Eastern New Mexico. A&M-Kingsville, ASU and WTAMU were second through fourth behind the Texans last spring, while ENMU and Cameron brought up the rear of the standings.
Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word were ahead of ENMU and Cameron in fifth and sixth, respectively, last year, but both have left the LSC for Division I and the Southland Conference.
The Texans begin their season at Houston's Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros, for the second straight year. They face Winona State (Minn.) on Feb. 3 and Arkansas Tech on Feb. 4.
The first game at Tarleton's Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex is against Regis (Colo.) on Feb. 7.