Southland Announces Preseason All-Conference Baseball Teams

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FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston State junior designated hitter Anthony Azar and senior third baseman Kevin Miller along with Stephen F. Austin junior shortstop Hunter Dozier are among the 11 returning all-conference players who are on the 2013 preseason all-conference teams, the league office announced Wednesday.

A first-team all-conference designated hitter last season, Azar led Sam Houston State with a .354 batting averaging and a .497 slugging percentage, which both ranked fifth in the conference. Azar, who paced the conference’s most efficient offense, recorded 10 doubles, three triples and three home runs while knocking in 38 runs and scoring 24 times. Miller returns this season after earning first-team honors a season ago. Miller batted .315 while slugging .384 for the Sam Houston offense. The senior third baseman also recorded nine doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.

The final first-team member from a season ago returning to the Southland diamond is SFA’s Dozier. The Lumberjack shortstop led the conference in doubles (22) and total bases (135), ranked second in home runs (10) and slugging percentage (.595), fourth in batting average (.357) and hits (81) and sixth in runs scored (43).

Sam Houston State, the defending regular-season champion, leads all teams with three first-team selections and tied Oral Roberts and Stephen F. Austin with four overall preseason all-conference selections. Completing the first-team picks for Sam Houston is junior pitcher Caleb Smith. Smith earned second-team all-conference honors last season after finishing fifth in the league in opposing batting average (.219), fifth in strike outs (82) and 12th in earned run average (3.23). In 16 starts, Smith posted an 8-6 record with two complete games. Sophomore outfielder Colt Atwood was named second-team all-conference for the Bearkats.

Conference newcomer Oral Roberts placed four players on the preseason all-conference teams with sophomore catcher Jose Trevino and senior pitcher Drew Bowen earning first-team honors. Trevino led the Golden Eagles offensively last season in batting average (.317), RBI (57), home runs (13), runs scored (44), hits (78), doubles (18), triples (3) and total bases (141). Bowen is ORU’s top-returning pitcher after posting a 7-2 record last season with a 1.95 ERA. In 13 starts, Bowen went the distance four times and recorded two shutouts. In his only relief appearance of the year, Bowen was credited with the save. Picking up second-team honors for the Golden Eagles are sophomore outfielder Logan Domenico and junior pitcher Alex Gonzalez.

Dozier was the lone Lumberjack to earn first-team all-conference but teammates Max Lamantia, a sophomore first baseman, Freddy Villalobos, a senior second baseman, and Cameron Gann, a sophomore pitcher each earn a spot a the second team. Villalobos earned third-team all-conference last season hitting .296 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 26 RBI.

Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana each had three players earn preseason all-conference honors, while Lamar and Northwestern State had two selections apiece. Nicholls State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi had one each.

Other returning all-conference selections named to the first team along with Sam Houston’s Smith include Central Arkansas outfielders senior Forrestt Allday and junior Jonathan Davis, Northwestern State senior outfielder Will Watson and Nicholls junior second baseman Philip Lyons.

Allday earned second-team all-conference last season when he posted team highs in runs (49), triples (4), walks (57) and on-base percentage (.486). He also ranked second on the team in hits (61), total bases (80) and slugging percentage (.486).

Davis was a second-team selection last season after leading the Bears with a .333 batting average. In only 42 games, Davis recorded 51 hits, 11 doubles, two triples and 29 RBI. A threat on the base path, Davis stole 17 bases and scored 35 times.

Watson is one of Northwestern State’s top returners this season after earning a spot on the second team last year. Watson was the Demons most consistent hitter with a .335 batting average. He led the Demons with 23 steals and had 10 doubles, two triples and 20 RBI on the year.

Lyons, a second-team all-conference pick in 2012, led Nicholls in hits (71) and runs (40) last season while starting in all 54 games for the Colonels. Lyons is the Colonels top returning hitter with a .335 batting average. Lyons recorded five doubles, two triples and a home run last season. He was second on the team with 16 stolen bases and a .402 on-base percentage.

Returning players who earned first- and second-team all-conference honors following the 2012 season automatically receive preseason honors. Third-team postseason selections move into vacated positions on the first and second preseason teams. The remaining spots are voted on by the league’s head coaches.

2013 Preseason All-Southland Conference Baseball Teams

First Team

Pos.

Name

University

Class

Hometown

1B

Brad Picha

Lamar

Sr.

Stephenville, Texas

2B

Phillip Lyons*

Nicholls State

Jr.

Thibodaux, La.

3B

Kevin Miller*

Sam Houston State

Sr.

Pearland, Texas

SS

Hunter Dozier*

Stephen F. Austin

Jr.

Denton, Texas

C

Jose Trevino

Oral Roberts

So.

Corpus Christi, Texas

OF

Forrestt Allday*

Central Arkansas

Sr.

Friendswood, Texas

OF

Jonathan Davis*

Central Arkansas

Jr.

Camden, Ark.

OF

Will Watson*

Northwestern State

Sr.

Dallas, Texas

DH

Anthony Azar*

Sam Houston State

Jr.

The Woodlands, Texas

P

Caleb Smith*

Sam Houston State

Jr.

Huntsville, Texas

P

Dylan Hills

Southeastern La.

Jr.

Ponchatoula, La.

P

Drew Bowen

Oral Roberts

Sr.

Tulsa, Okla.

Second Team

Pos.

Name

University

Class

Hometown

1B

Max Lamantia

Stephen F. Austin

So.

Flower Mound, Texas

2B

Freddy Villalobos*

Stephen F. Austin

Sr.

Houston, Texas

3B

Darian Johnson*

Lamar

Sr.

Chandler, Ariz.

SS

Ben Hernandez

Southeastern La.

Sr.

Zachary, La.

C

Nick Purdy

Northwestern State

Sr.

Pascagoula, Miss.

OF

Ethan Harris

Central Arkansas

Sr.

White Hall, Ark.

OF

Colt Atwood

Sam Houston State

So.

Katy, Texas

OF

Logan Domenico

Oral Roberts

So.

Scottsdale, Ariz.

DH

Jonathan Gonzales*

A&M-Corpus Christi

Sr.

Buda, Texas

P

Jordan Hymel

Southeastern La.

Sr.

Lutcher, La.

P

Alex Gonzalez

Oral Roberts

Jr.

Delray Beach, Fla.

P

Cameron Gann

Stephen F. Austin

So.

Crandall, Texas




 
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