2014 Big South Preseason Coaches Poll

FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BigSouthLogo2CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – Liberty and Coastal Carolina have been chosen as the favorites for the second-straight year in the Big South Conference’s annual preseason baseball poll for the 2014 season in a vote of the League’s Head Coaches, the League announced today. In addition, the coaches voted Charleston Southern’s Bobby Ison the Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, while Ryan Thompson of Campbell was named the Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Ison, a junior from Goose Creek, S.C., finished the 2013 campaign ranked as the No. 6 toughest to strikeout in the nation, holding the No. 1 spot until the final week of the season. A First-Team All-Big South honoree in 2013, he ranked No. 1 in the League with 84 hits and was No. 3 in the Conference with 111 total bases. Ison started all 56 games for the Buccaneers last season and ranked fourth in the Conference with a .367 average at the plate. His .485 slugging percentage was good for eighth in the Big South as he ranked No. 9 in the League with 14 doubles. Ison also posted 27 RBI and three home runs. In the field, he recorded 132 putouts and five assists to finish with a .972 fielding percentage. Ison received five first-place votes to finish with 24 points, ahead of Ashton Perritt of Liberty, who notched four top bids and 20 points.

Thompson, a senior from Turner, Ore., was tabbed a 2014 preseason Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a preseason Third Team All-American by the NCBWA. Thompson finished the 2013 campaign ranked No. 1 in the nation with a Big South and school record 0.88 ERA en route to earning All-American honors. The 2013 Big South Pitcher of the Year, Thompson went 9-1 in 71.2 innings pitched, struck out 57 batters and allowed just seven earned runs last season. He did not allow a run 29.1 innings pitched during a span of 13 appearances. Thompson received eight No. 1 votes from the finish with 28 points. Coastal Carolina’s Ben Smith placed second in the voting with three first-place votes and 18 points.

Liberty is the preseason favorite to win the North Division with Coastal Carolina earning the plaudit for the South Division.

The Flames received six first-place votes to garner 62 points from the panel to finish ahead of Campbell, who notched six top bids and 59 points. Radford was picked third with 51 points and High Point landed at the No. 4 spot with 38 points. Longwood’s 28 points was good for fifth, while VMI rounded out the North Division with 14 points.

Coastal Carolina was a unanimous selection to win the South Division as it received all 12 first-place votes and 72 points. Gardner-Webb placed second with 56 points and Charleston Southern came in at No. 3 with 45 points. Winthrop found itself at No. 4 with 34 points, ahead of Presbyterian College’s 26 points. UNC Asheville closed out the voting in the South Division with 19 points.

The Big South baseball season begins on Friday, Feb. 14 with 11 teams in action. The 2014 Big South Baseball Championship is slated for Tuesday-Saturday, May 20-24 at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C.

2014 Baseball Preseason Poll

Rk North Division (first-place votes) 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points
1. Liberty (6) 36 10 16 — — — 62
2. Campbell (6) 36 15 — 6 2 — 59
3. Radford — 25 20 6 — — 51
4. High Point — 5 8 21 4 — 38
5. Longwood — 5 4 3 14 2 28
6. VMI — — — — 4 10 14

Rk South Division (first-place votes) 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points
1. Coastal Carolina (12) 72 — — — — — 72
2. Gardner-Webb — 40 16 — — — 56
3. Charleston Southern — 15 16 12 2 — 45
4. Winthrop — 5 4 18 6 1 34
5. Presbyterian — — 8 6 8 4 26
6. UNC Asheville — — 4 — 8 7 19

Note: points are based on a weighted system. First-place votes in each division received 6 points, followed by 5 points for second-place, and so on.

  • Jimmy

    Interesting…thanks!!!!