Gulf South Conference Preseason Poll

DSU and VSU are picked to win the West and East Divisions, respectively.

DSU and VSU are picked to win the West and East Divisions, respectively.

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

The Ouachita Baptist University baseball team was picked by the Gulf South Conference West Division coaches to finish third in the preseason poll Tuesday.

The Tigers, ranked No. 5 in the Ping!Baseball Division II Poll and No. 9 in the NCAA Division II College Baseball Newspaper Poll, garnered two second-place votes, four third and one fourth for 36 points.

Delta State was chosen to win the GSC West Division with 48 points. Southern Arkansas was second with 44 points, followed by the Tigers. Behind Ouachita is Harding (28), Arkansas Tech (26), Henderson State (21), Christian Brothers (11) and Arkansas-Monticello (10).

The Tigers, who went 51-16 last and reached the NCAA Division II National Championship game before falling 6-2 to Mount Olive, placed three players on the All-GSC West Division Preseason Team.

Third baseman Rudy Jovanovski, who batted .329 with 79 hits, 61 runs batted in, 60 runs scored, 17 doubles and 11 homers, was a first-team All-GSC West Division selection last season.

Blake Lockwood, who also was a first-team All-GSC West Division selection in 2008, batted .320 with 78 hits, 78 runs scored, 35 RBIs, 11 doubles, three triples and a home run. He set a career-high for stolen bases, going 48-of-59 on the base paths.

Chase Baran, who went 10-3 last season with a 3.96 ERA, rounds out the Tigers on the West Division squad. Baran had 81 strikeouts while appearing and starting in 17 games.

Ouachita also placed three players on the GSC Top Newcomers list – Kevin Bird, Derek Dibbens and Will Gowdy.

Bird, a 5-foot-10, junior college transfer from Lake Land Community College, will play a significant role for the Tigers in the outfield. Dibbens, a 6-foot transfer from UT-Permian Basin, will be behind the plate, while Gowdy, a 6-4, transfer from Seward County Community College will not only be a solid first baseman, but will also appear on the mound.

Ouachita begins the 2009 season on the road as the Tigers open a three-game series Feb. 1 at No. 18 Angelo State.

EAST DIVISION
SCHOOL 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Total
Valdosta State 6 — — — — — 36
West Alabama 1 4 1 — — — 30
North Alabama — 2 2 2 — — 24
West Florida — 5 3 1 1 — 22
Montevallo — — 1 3 2 — 17
Alabama-Huntsville — — — 1 2 3 10
West Georgia — — — — 2 4 8
WEST DIVISION
SCHOOL 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th Total
Delta State 6 1 — — — — — 48
Southern Arkansas 2 5 — — — — — 44
Ouachita Baptist — 2 4 1 — — — 36
Harding — — 2 3 2 — — 28
Arkansas Tech — — 2 2 2 1 — 26
Henderson State — — — 2 3 2 — 21
Christian Brothers — — — — — 4 3 11
Arkansas-Monticello — — — — 1 1 5 10