CHARLESTON, SC - Sophomore infielder Drew DeKerlegand was selected to the Southern Conference preseason all-conference first team as announced by the league office Wednesday morning. Senior outfielder Nick Orvin was chosen to the all-conference second team, as voted on by the league's 11 head coaches. The Citadel was picked to finish eighth in both the coaches' and media preseason polls.
Last season, DeKerlegand (Pearland, Texas) was selected to the SoCon All-Freshman Team after starting all 56 games in 2011 at third base for the Bulldogs and finishing with an average of .317 with 32 runs, 66 hits, 11 doubles, four triples, two homers and 24 RBI to go with 15 walks. The freshman was second on the team in triples, on base percentage and total bases and reached base in the final 16 contests of the season.
Orvin (Moncks Corner, S.C.) earned first team all-conference in 2011 after being named to the second team in 2010 and to the all-freshman team in 2009. He entered the career top-10 at The Citadel in runs scored last season and sits just three base knocks away from entering the career top-10 in hits. Last season, Orvin batted .320 with 74 hits, 47 runs, 14 doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBI, 23 walks and 19 stolen bases. He led the squad in hits, runs, homers, total bases, slugging percentage, walks and stolen bases in 2011. The centerfielder reached base in the final 23 games of the season.
Georgia Southern swept the top preseason awards, with junior outfielder Victor Roache named SoCon Preseason Player of the Year and junior right-hander Chris Beck as Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
The SoCon baseball coaches have selected College of Charleston as the preseason favorite to win the league championship in 2012, while the media representatives who cover the league have chosen Georgia Southern as the conference favorite. The Cougars received six of the 11 possible first-place votes and 93 points in the coaches' balloting, narrowly edging Georgia Southern by a single point. The Eagles were the clear preseason favorite of the league's media, earning 20 of 25 first-place votes and 269 points overall.
In the coaches' poll, GSU grabbed 92 points and four first-place votes while Samford placed third with 83 points and the remaining first-place nod. Elon (76 points), the 2011 regular season champion, was selected to finish fourth, followed by Appalachian State (62), Western Carolina (51) and UNCG (50) in the fifth through seventh spots, respectively. The Citadel (33) edged Furman (32) for eighth spot while Wofford (18) and Davidson (15) concluded the rankings.
With 246 points and three first-place tallies, Charleston placed second in the media balloting, directly ahead of Elon (220) which recorded the final two first-place votes. Samford (198), UNCG (150), Appalachian State (149), Western Carolina (130), The Citadel (112), Furman (86), Wofford (55) and Davidson (35) rounded out the poll.
2012 SoCon Baseball Preseason All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Victor Roache, Jr., OF, Georgia Southern
Pitcher of the Year – Chris Beck, Jr., RHP, Georgia Southern
SP Chris Beck, Georgia Southern
SP Christian Powell, College of Charleston
RP Lex Rutledge, Samford
C Trevor Edwards, UNCG
1B Saxon Butler, Samford
2B Ross Heffley, Western Carolina
SS Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern
3B Drew DeKerlegand, The Citadel
OF Victor Roache, Georgia Southern
OF Daniel Aldrich, College of Charleston
OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
DH Daniel Kassouf, Appalachian State
SP Ryan Arrowood, Appalachian State
SP Josh Renfro, College of Charleston
RP David Port, Appalachian State
C Alex Swim, Elon
1B Konstantine Diamaduros, Wofford
2B Sebastian Gomez, Elon
SS Aaron Attaway, Western Carolina
3B Zack Briggs, Appalachian State
3B (tie) Alex Abrams, Furman
OF Marty Gantt, College of Charleston
OF Nick Orvin, The Citadel
OF Tyler Zupcic, Appalachian State
DH Taylor Johnson, Furman
The annual "Meet the Bulldogs" autograph session and Blue-White scrimmage has been set for Sunday, Feb. 12, at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The gates will open at noon with an autograph session and the final pre-season scrimmage of the spring to follow at 1:15 p.m. Admission is free to the public.