May 21, 2012

Connell, Davis Named to SoCon All-Freshman Team

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Citadel's Kevin Connell and Mason Davis were named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman Team as announced today by the conference office. The league's 11 head coaches also selected Player and Pitcher of the Year and two all-conference teams.

A left-handed pitcher from Johnson City, Tenn., Connell has posted a 1-4 record in his freshman campaign with a 3.79 ERA in 10 starts over 19 appearances. The southpaw has tossed 57 innings this season, allowing 61 hits and striking out 32 with 34 walks.

Davis, the Bulldogs' second baseman, is one of three Citadel players to start in the same defensive position for all 55 games this season. The Conyers, Ga, native is batting .259 with nine doubles, three triples and three home runs. He has 24 RBI to go with 18 walks and 14 stolen bases.  

College of Charleston center fielder Marty Gantt has been voted the Southern Conference Player of the Year, while teammate Christian Powell, a junior right-handed pitcher, has been honored as the Pitcher of the Year.

Appalachian State head coach Chris Pollard was voted by his peers as the league's Coach of the Year after guiding ASU to a share of the regular season championship for the first time since 1987. The Mountaineers were picked to finish fifth and sixth in the respective preseason polls.

Georgia Southern catcher Chase Griffin earned Freshman of the Year honors.

Appalachian State and Samford led the way with six all-conference selections each with the Bulldogs grabbing a league-high four on the first team. College of Charleston had four all-SoCon selections followed by three from Western Carolina and two from Elon.

Gantt was one of the top hitters in the conference this season, leading the SoCon in on-base percentage (.481), runs scored (62) and walks (41) while also appearing in the top 3 in batting average, slugging percentage, hits and doubles. The senior hit .349 with 10 home runs and 40 runs batted in while also swiping 25 bases and fielding at a .982 clip. He was instrumental in Charleston winning a share of the conference regular season title for the first time since 2007.

Powell finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and a conference-low 2.32 ERA among eligible pitchers. The right-hander struck out 69 batters while limiting opponents to a .230 average at the plate. Powell was 7-2 in his 10 SoCon starts, including a key victory at SoCon co-champion Appalachian State on April 8.

Griffin was honored as the league's Freshman of the Year after batting .306 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs while recording all but three of his 46 starts behind the plate. Griffin's home run and RBI totals led all conference freshmen. Defensively, Griffin threw out 16 runners attempting to steal. He becomes Georgia Southern's first Freshman of the Year since Brett Lewis in 1999.

In addition to the all-conference teams, the coaches also selected a 12-player all-freshman team, which was highlighted by three rookies from Western Carolina and two each from Appalachian State, The Citadel, Furman, and Georgia Southern.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players or themselves in the voting process. 

2012 SoCon Baseball All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Marty Gantt, Sr., OF, College of Charleston
Pitcher of the Year – Christian Powell, Jr., RHP, College of Charleston
Freshman of the Year – Chase Griffin, C, Georgia Southern
Coach of the Year – Chris Pollard, Appalachian State 

First Team
SP     Christian Powell, College of Charleston
SP     Josh Martin, Samford
RP     Preston Hatcher, Western Carolina
C       Alex Swim, Elon
1B     Saxon Butler, Samford
2B     Ross Heffley, Western Carolina
SS     Will Callaway, Appalachian State
3B     Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern
OF     Marty Gantt, College of Charleston
OF     Phillip Ervin, Samford
OF     Brandon Miller, Samford
DH    Daniel Kassouf, Appalachian State 

Second Team
SP     Ryan Arrowood, Appalachian State
SP     Brandon Yarusi, Wofford
RP     C.K. Irby, Samford
C       Brad Moss, Samford
1B     Ryan Kinsella, Elon
2B     Hector Crespo, Appalachian State
SS     Bradley Goodson, College of Charleston
3B     Thomas Troelstrup, UNCG
OF     Tyler Tewell, Appalachian State
OF     Tyler Zupcic, Appalachian State
OF     Brandon Murray, College of Charleston
DH    Jacob Hoyle, Western Carolina 

All-Freshman Team
Brandon Burris, Appalachian State
Jamie Nunn, Appalachian State
Kevin Connell, The Citadel
Mason Davis, The Citadel
Henry Sisson, Davidson
Chris Ohmstede, Furman
Elliott Warford, Furman
Tyler Avera, Georgia Southern
Chase Griffin, Georgia Southern
Jacob Hoyle, Western Carolina
Jeremy Null, Western Carolina
Bradley Strong, Western Carolina

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