Delta State won’t sneak up on anybody in 2018. The Statesmen, overlooked in most of the 2017 preseason polls before making a run to the NCAA Division II World Series, will start the new season ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball. Mike Kinnison will need to plug a couple of holes in his pitching staff, but DSU’s lineup returns virtually intact from last year’s 45-13 club. Expectations should be running high all over the Magnolia State, according to Collegiate Baseball’s editors. Each of the Big 3 Division I schools is ranked in the magazine’s Top 40: Mississippi State is 13th, Southern Miss 25th and Ole Miss 38th. William Carey, which went to the NAIA World Series last year, will open at No. 6 in 2018, and Jones County Junior College is pegged No. 2 in the NJCAA Division II poll. East Central CC checks in at 17th.