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 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team 
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Post 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
Coastal Carolina’s Beckwith, Little Rock’s Thomas Highlight Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team

2/2/2017 10:00:02 AM
Sun Belt Conference
baseball preseason all-conference - 020217
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NEW ORLEANS – A pair of seniors in Coastal Carolina’s Andrew Beckwith and Little Rock’s Dalton Thomas were chosen as the Sun Belt Baseball Preseason Pitcher and Player of the Year on Thursday, as voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.

The Sun Belt also announced the 14 student-athletes that earned 2017 Preseason Baseball All-Sun Belt Conference team selections.

Beckwith and the Chanticleers join the Sun Belt for their inaugural season in the league, just a year after claiming the 2016 College World Series title. Beckwith was the College World Series MVP after going 3-0 in eight games. He finished 2016 with a 1.85 ERA and a CCU record 15 wins. He tossed 117 innings, and allowed just 34 total runs and struck out 75. Beckwith is 24-7 in his career with a 2.12 ERA.

Thomas, a first-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2016, started all 54 games for the Trojans last season while hitting .375. His .375 batting average and 87 hits were second best in the Sun Belt. He tallied 52 RBIs and nine home runs with a slugging percentage of .582. Thomas posted multiple hits in 28 games last season and multiple RBI in 12 games.

Louisiana led the way with four all-conference honorees, followed by Coastal Carolina (3), Georgia Southern, and South Alabama (2). Little Rock, UTA and Texas State each placed one student-athlete on the all-conference team.

The baseball preseason coaches’ poll will be released on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The 2017 baseball season begins on Friday, February 17. The 2017 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship is set for May 23-28 at Jack Stallings Field at J.I. Clements Stadium on the campus of Georgia Southern University.

2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Baseball Team
Andrew Beckwith (Coastal Carolina, Starting Pitcher, Senior)
Evan Challenger (Georgia Southern, Starting Pitcher, Redshirt Senior)
Gunner Leger (Louisiana, Starting Pitcher, Junior)
Dylan Moore (Louisiana, Relief Pitcher, Junior)
Brady Cox (UTA, Catcher, Senior)
Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern, First Base, Senior)
Jonathan Ortega (Texas State, Second Base, Sophomore)
Drew LaBounty (South Alabama, Shortstop, Redshirt Junior)
Seth Lancaster (Coastal Carolina, Third Base, Junior)
Dalton Thomas (Little Rock, Outfield, Senior)
Billy Cooke (Coastal Carolina, Outfield, Junior)
Travis Swaggerty (South Alabama, Outfield, Sophomore)
Steven Sensley (Louisiana, Designated Hitter, Junior)
Joe Robbins (Louisiana, Utility Player, Senior)

2017 Preseason Player of the Year
Dalton Thomas (Little Rock, Outfield, Senior)

2017 Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Andrew Beckwith (Coastal Carolina, Starting Pitcher, Senior)

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Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:08 am
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Post Re: 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
Well deserved for Ortega I'd say. Hopefully no sophomore slump for him this year.

I'll be interested to see where we are picked in the league next week. We seem to get a fair amount of respect from the other Sun Belt coaches based on previous preseason polls.


Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:31 pm
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Post Re: 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
I think we will be in the bottom 3rd of the coaches poll. With the returning players we have I just don't see how someone can predict us doing any better that.

I am ready for some baseball and I hope we show some improvement over the past few seasons. Harrington and Co. have put out a really sub par product over the past 5 years.

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Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:31 pm
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Post Re: 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
No way.

We finished 5th last year and return a lot offensively. Pitching is a huge unknown. But I highly doubt we'll be ranked below App State, GSU, ULM, or Arkansas State.

Hell we were picked to finish 3rd last year and we were coming off that disastrous 24-32 season in 2015.

Baseball is going to divisions this year also, so when the preseason poll comes out it may just be by division.


Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:56 pm
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Post Re: 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
We're in the weaker division with the consensus pick being ULL to win our division so we'll be part of the 2-5 group of UALR, UTA or Ark St. Now if we were in the eastern side we'd be picked well behind CC, USA and Ga Sthrn.

We do return several position players but lose most of the top performers in Hill, Geis and Studdard (even tho he struggled). Hill carried the offense last year and he will be sorely missed. Not seeing enough offense to overcome a blank slate on the hill.

Wouldn't poo-poo the 2015 season any more than the last 5. At least had a decent showing in the tourney. Going 1-2 at home in the tourney last year was a complete abortion.

Fairly weak early schedule so need to get off to a good start. Struggle early against the likes of Purdue, Richmond or Alabama A&M and it could go south quickly.

Good news we're going after more juco kids and less high schoolers. Never gonna compete consistently with second tier high school recruits.


Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:37 pm
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Post Re: 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
I still think our pitching will be better than expected. Really looking forward to seeing Nick Fraze and Cam Baird pitch. There are also transfers from West Virginia and Kansas State who will hopefully fill some voids. Either way, I'm looking forward to opening day.


Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:59 pm
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Post Re: 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team
tiggercat wrote:
We're in the weaker division with the consensus pick being ULL to win our division so we'll be part of the 2-5 group of UALR, UTA or Ark St. Now if we were in the eastern side we'd be picked well behind CC, USA and Ga Sthrn.


Probably 3 tiers in our division:
1. ULL
2. TXST, UTA, Little Rock (no particular order)
3. A State, ULM

ULL will be a gigantic favorite in the west and Coastal will be a gigantic favorite in the east. Both teams are top 25 teams in every preseason poll released so far.

tiggercat wrote:
Wouldn't poo-poo the 2015 season any more than the last 5. At least had a decent showing in the tourney. Going 1-2 at home in the tourney last year was a complete abortion.


The other 4 were all at least not losing seasons. 2015 is our only losing season in the past decade.


Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:17 pm
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