ROCK HILL, S.C. - Newberry College's Brandon Petty was named to the First Team Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference team, the league office announced today. David Tunstill and Scott Horvath were Second Team Preseason All-SAC selections and the Indians are picked to finish sixth in the conference in the 2008 season.
Brandon Petty, a senior from Melbourne, Fla., was the Indians only postseason all-SAC selection after the 2007 campaign. He posted a 6-4 record with a 3.14 earned run average while striking out 70 batters.
David Tunstill, a junior from Melbourne, Fla., was Newberry's leading hitter in 2007 and is the preseason second team all-SAC selection at first base. Tunstill hit .354 with four homeruns and a team-high 28 RBIs. He also led the team in runs scored with 25 and hits with 62.
Scott Horvath, a freshman from Apopka, Fla., earns the second team preseason all-SAC nod at designated hitter after a solid freshman season. Horvath hit for a .350 average with 12 doubles, a homer and 13 RBIs. He hit his first career round-tripper in Greenville Municipal Stadium against West Virginia State.
Tusculum College, which has won or shared the past three conference baseball championships and is ranked as high as second in one national preseason poll, is the favorite to win the 2008 South Atlantic Conference baseball championship, the league announced.
The Pioneers also dominated the preseason All-Conference baseball team, placing eight on the first team, and one more on the second team.
The Pioneers return 20 lettermen, including eight starters and nine pitchers from last years SAC championship team. Tusculum is coming off its best season in school history, posting a 50-14 record. The Pioneers also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years.
Tusculum received seven first-place votes and 63 total points.
The Pioneers captured eight of the 12 spots on the preseason All-Conference first team. Among the preseason honorees is second baseman Maikol Gonzalez, the returning SAC Player of the Year and South Region Player of the Year.
Senior outfielder Carlos Rivera and senior catcher Christian Rosa also return after being named All-Americans in 2007 and are on the preseason All-Conference first team.
Tusculum is ranked seventh in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll, and second in the Ping! division II preseason poll.
Catawba College is picked to finish second. The Indians, who had their three-year streak of conference championships end last year, received one first-place vote and 50 total points.
The Indians placed five on the preseason All-Conference team, including two outfielders on the first team David Thomas and Jerry Sands.
Carson-Newman College is picked to finish third. The Eagles received 47 points.
Carson-Newman has one preseason All-Conference pick in third baseman Nick Achberger, the most valuable player from last years Food Lion SAC Tournament.
Lenoir-Rhyne College is fourth in the preseason poll. The Bears picked up 38 points.
The Bears, under the direction of first-year coach Paul Knight have a pair of preseason All-Conference pitchers. Justin Crowell and Chris Henderson were both named to the second team. Henderson went 5-1 last season with a 3.10 ERA. Crowell was 7-2 with a 3.65 ERA.
Wingate University, another team with a new head coach, was picked to finish fifth with 32 points. The Bulldogs begin a new era with Allen Osborne as head coach.
Newberry College is sixth in the preseason poll with 24 points. The Indians return pitching ace Brandon Petty, who was named to the preseason All-Conference first team. Petty was 6-4 with a 3.14 ERA and 70 strikeouts last year. David Tunstill at first base and designated hitter Scott Horvath were named to the second team.
Lincoln Memorial University is picked to finish seventh. The Railsplitters received 22 points.
Casey Sedley was a preseason All-Conference first team pick at designated hitter, while Bryon Izzo and TeWayne Willis were named to the second team. Willis led the SAC last year in stolen bases.
Mars Hill College rounds out the preseason poll. Shortstop Brian Williams was named to the preseason All-Conference second team.
The 2008 baseball season begins Friday, February 1 with four games - Carson-Newman at Augusta State; Newberry at North Georgia; Lincoln Memorial at USC Aiken and Catawba at Lander.
Newberry will be the first SAC team to play a home game this season with Grand Opening Day at the Smith Road Complex against No. 25 Francis Marion University on Tuesday, February 5.
The 2008 Food Lion SAC Baseball Tournament will be April 17-20 in Hickory, N.C. The first two days will be played at Lenoir-Rhyne College. The games on Saturday and Sunday will be played at L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the Hickory Crawdads. This years tournament format will be a six-team bracket. The tournament winner will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Article courtesy of the South Atlantic Conference
2008 SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE BASEBALL COACHES' POLL
Pl School 1st Pts.
1. Tusculum 7 63
2. Catawba 1 50
3. Carson-Newman 47
4. Lenoir-Rhyne 38
5. Wingate 32
6. Newberry 24
7. Lincoln Memorial 22
8. Mars Hill 12
2008 PRESEASON SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Catcher Christian Rosa, Tusculum
Pitcher Brandon Petty, Newberry
Pitcher Mat Galens, Tusculum
Pitcher Raymond Ruggles, Tusculum
1st Base Dustin Marrow, Tusculum
2nd Base Maikol Gonzalez, Tusculum
Shortstop Aaron Hudgins, Tusculum
3rd Base Paul Finger, Tusculum
Outfield David Thomas, Catawba
Outfield Jerry Sands, Catawba
Outfield Carlos Rivera, Tusculum
Designated Hitter Casey Sedley, Lincoln Memorial
Catcher Ryan Query, Catawba
Pitcher Tim Smith, Catawba
Pitcher Justin Crowell, Lenoir-Rhyne
Pitcher Chris Henderson, Lenoir-Rhyne
1st Base David Tunstill, Newberry
2nd Base Derek Treece, Lincoln Memorial
Shortstop Brian Williams, Mars Hill
3rd Base Nick Achberger, Carson-Newman
3rd Base Craige Lyerly, Catawba
Outfield Bryon Izzo, Lincoln Memorial
Outfield TeWayne Willis, Lincoln Memorial
Outfield Matt Webb, Tusculum
Designated Hitter Scott Horvath, Newberry