Arkansas State senior Kyle MacDonald named Sun Belt Preseason Baseball Player of the Year

Arkansas State senior Kyle MacDonald named Sun Belt Preseason Baseball Player of the Year

Press Release from the Sun Belt Conference

Arkansas State senior Kyle MacDonald and Georgia State junior Hunter Gaddis were chosen as the Sun Belt Baseball Preseason Player and Pitcher 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 2019 Preseason Baseball All-Sun Belt Conference team selections.

MacDonald, a steady offensive force for the Red Wolves in 2018, returns for his senior season in Jonesboro. The Mississauga, Ontario native hit 15 home runs and drove in 50 runs last season earning him Sun Belt's Newcomer of the Year honors. He started 51 of A-State's 52 games earning All-Sun Belt Second Team honors. MacDonald led A-State in a number of offensive categories including runs (50), hits (66), homers (15), RBI (50), total bases (127), and walks (39) while leading the team with a .346 batting average.

MacDonald’s 15 home runs are tied for the second most in a season in A-State history, his 50 RBI were the 10th best in school history, and the 127 total bases tied for eighth most. MacDonald had 20 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games.

Georgia State’s Hunter Gaddis has established himself as one of the top starting pitchers in the Sun Belt Conference and the nation in his first two seasons as a Panther. A 2018 All-Sun Belt Conference, Sun Belt All-Tournament and two-time Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week, he led the Sun Belt with nine wins in 2018 while ranking second in the league in innings pitched (100.2), third in strikeouts (98) and fourth in ERA (2.95). The Canton, Ga. native was named the 2019 Sun Belt Preseason Pitcher of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper to begin the season and is rated among the top 150 college prospects for 2019 MLB Draft by Prep Baseball Report.

Gaddis holds a career record of 13-8 with a 3.28 ERA and is tied for tenth all-time in GSU history with his 13 wins. Of GSU’s 10 conference victories in 2018, six of them came in games in which he started and another in a game that he closed. Over the summer, Gaddis pitched Cape Cod League’s Chatham Anglers going 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA.

Coastal Carolina, Georgia State and Louisiana each had three All-Conference honorees, followed by Troy with two. Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and South Alabama each placed one student-athlete on the preseason all-conference team.

The 2019 baseball season begins on Friday, February 15. The 2019 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship is set for May 21-26 at Springs Brooks Stadium on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.

2019 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Baseball Team

Seth Shuman (Georgia Southern, Junior, Starting Pitcher)

Hunter Gaddis (Georgia State, Junior, Starting Pitcher)

Gunner Leger (Louisiana, Senior, Starting Pitcher)

Matt Eardensohn (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Relief Pitcher)

Carter Perkins (South Alabama, Senior, Catcher)

Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State, Senior, First Base)

Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina, Junior, Second Base)

Hayden Cantrelle (Louisiana, Sophomore, Shortstop)

Drew Frederic (Troy, Junior, Third Base)

Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore, Outfielder)

Daniel Lahare (Louisiana, Senior, Outfielder)

Rigsby Mosley (Troy, Sophomore, Outfielder)

Ryan Glass (Georgia State, Sophomore, Designated Hitter)

Brandon Bell (Georgia State, Senior, Utility Player)

2018 Preseason Player of the Year

Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State, Senior, First Base)

2018 Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Hunter Gaddis (Georgia State, Junior, Starting Pitcher)

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