A-State Baseball’s Owen and Burgess Named Preseason All-SBC - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

A-State Baseball’s Owen and Burgess Named Preseason All-SBC

 JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – Arkansas State juniors David Owen and Matt Burgess have been named to the 2015 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference baseball team the league office announced Wednesday.  Additionally, the Red Wolves were selected to finish third in the conference after receiving 87 points in the Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Owen, a native of Millington, Tenn., started 15 games on the mound for the Red Wolves a season ago and registered a 4.19 ERA with a team-high 76 strikeouts in 77.1 innings pitched.  His strikeout total ranked sixth in the league and he struck out at least 10 batters on two different occasions.  He was tied for the team lead in wins with five and held hitters to a .254 batting average, the lowest among A-State starting pitchers. He also became the first pitcher in school history to be named to the Gregg Olson Breakout Player of the Year watch list.

Burgess, a native of Greenbrier, Ark., started 58 games for Arkansas State last year, including 53 at first base, and ranked at or near the top in most offensive statistical categories.  He led the team with 72 hits, a .313 batting average, and 58 RBIs, with the RBI total ranking second in the SBC and 15th in the nation.  Additionally, he was second on the squad in home runs (4), slugging percentage (.422), tied for second in on-base percentage (.390), and tied for third in doubles with 13.  He was named to the CollegeSportsMadness.com All-Sun Belt First Team for his performance last season.

Arkansas State was picked to finish third in the Preseason Coaches' Poll with its 87 points finishing behind Texas State's 94 points and Louisiana-Lafayette's 114 points.  The Ragin' Cajuns received eight first-place votes as they were selected to repeat as conference champions.  UT Arlington was picked to finish behind A-State with 80 points, while Troy (78 points), Georgia Southern (77 points), South Alabama (71 points), Georgia State (35 points), ULM (34 points), UALR (31 points), and Appalachian State (25 points) round out the poll.

A-State will host the 2015 Grand Slam Banquet Monday, Feb. 2 at the Convocation Center, while the 2015 season will get underway Friday, Feb. 13 at Tomlinson Stadium with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

Tickets for the 2015 campaign are on sale and be purchased online at tickets.astate.edu or by calling the A-State Ticket Office at 1-888-ASUFANS.  For the latest on A-State baseball follow the team by logging onto the team's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/astatebaseball and following them on Twitter @AStateBaseball.

2015 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team

David Owen (Arkansas State, Junior, SP)

Kevin Hill (South Alabama, Senior, SP)

Lucas Humpal (Texas State, Junior, SP)

Marc Skinner (Troy, Sophomore, RP)

Joey Roach (Georgia State, Junior, C)

Matt Burgess (Arkansas State, Junior, 1B)

Darien McLemore (UT Arlington, Junior, 2B)

Blake Trahan (UL Lafayette, Junior, SS)

Matt Rose (Georgia State, Junior, 3B)

Aaron Mizell (Georgia Southern, Senior, OF)

Dylan Butler (UL Lafayette, Senior, OF)

Cole Gleason (South Alabama, Senior, OF)

David Hall (Troy, Senior, DH)

Cory Geisler (Texas State, Junior, UTIL)

2015 Preseason Player of the Year

Blake Trahan (UL Lafayette, Junior, SS)

2015 Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Lucas Humpal (Texas State, Junior, SP)

2015 SBC Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)

1. UL Lafayette (8) - 114 pts

2. Texas State (1) - 94 pts

3. Arkansas State - 87 pts

4. UT Arlington - 80 pts

5. Troy - 78 pts

6. Georgia Southern (2) - 77 pts

7. South Alabama - 71 pts

8. Georgia State - 35 pts

9. UL Monroe - 34 pts

10. UALR - 31 pts

11. Appalachian State - 25 pts

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