Baseball Picked First in Media, Second in Coaches Preseason Poll
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - In a vote of the Southern Conference's 11 coaches and media members, the Georgia Southern Baseball team was picked first in the Preseason Media Poll and second in the Preseason Coaches Poll. The Eagles also swept the preseason pitcher and player of the year awards.
Georgia Southern picked up 20 first-place votes in the media poll after finishing in a tie for third place last season. The Eagles were picked second in the coaches poll behind the College of Charleston after winning the 2011 Southern Conference Tournament Title. In the Preseason Coaches Poll, GSU was voted first by four of the coaches and finished a point behind first-place selection the College of Charleston.
Three Eagles were selected to the Coaches Preseason All-Conference First Team, including Preseason Pitcher of the Year Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) and Preseason Player of the Year Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.). Joining the two juniors on the first team was Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.), who was picked as the First Team's shortstop.
Beck led the Southern Conference in wins with nine, struck out a league best 109 batters and pitched a complete game shutout on two-days rest to earn the Eagles the 2011 SoCon Tournament Title. The Jefferson, Ga., native went 9-5 with a 3.23 ERA in 19 starts last year. The junior pitcher spent his summer playing in the Cape Cod League and was named the second-best Cape Cod prospect after a trip to the All-Star game. Beck was selected earlier in the preseason as a Louisville Slugger TPX Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Roache hit .326/.438/.778 with a NCAA best 30 home runs. The junior outfielder had a breakout season last year which didn't end with the Columbia Regional. The Ypsilanti, Mich., native was a participant in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game and the College Baseball Home Run Derby. He was also named a Preseason First Team Louisville Slugger TPX Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a First Team Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Phillips led the team in batting average and on-base percentage in 2011 and was selected to the SoCon Coaches and Media All-Conference First Team Shortstop. The junior shortstop hit .390 in 62 starts and tallied a team-best 98 hits. Phillips also was second on the team with a .518 slugging percentage and was named to the SoCon All-Tournament Team in Charleston last year.
The 2012 season kicks off at J.I. Clements Stadium on February 17th against UT Martin at 6 p.m. The Southern Conference slate opens on March 9th at Elon and the home schedule begins the next weekend with UNC Greensboro on March 16th. Georgia Southern will host the College of Charleston and Samford, who were both voted in the top-four of the conference, along with Western Carolina and Appalachian State.
The 2012 Southern Conference Tournament returns to Greenville, S.C.'s Flour Field, where the Eagles won the 2009 Tournament, on May 23-27.
Fans can follow the Georgia Southern Eagles by visiting GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com or check in at twitter.com/GSAthletics or facebook.com/GSAthletics for short updates.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 00:10