Coastal unanimous choice for Southern Division title

ccubase-Ben-SmithCoastal Carolina and Liberty have been chosen as the favorites for the second-straight year in the Big South Conference’s annual preseason baseball poll for the 2014 season in a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Coastal Carolina is the unanimous selection to win the South Division as it received all 12 first-place votes and 72 points.  Gardner-Webb placed second with 56 points and Charleston Southern came in at No. 3 with 45 points.  Winthrop found itself at No. 4 with 34 points, ahead of Presbyterian College’s 26 points.  UNC Asheville closed out the voting in the South Division with 19 points.

Liberty is the preseason favorite to win the North Division with Coastal Carolina earning the plaudit for the South Division. The Flames received six first-place votes to garner 62 points from the panel to finish ahead of Campbell, who notched six top bids and 59 points.  Radford was picked third with 51 points and High Point landed at the No. 4 spot with 38 points.  Longwood’s 28 points was good for fifth, while VMI rounded out the North Division with 14 points.

Individually, the coaches voted Charleston Southern’s Bobby Ison the Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, while Ryan Thompson of Campbell was named the Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The Big South baseball season begins on Friday, Feb. 14 with 11 teams in action.  The 2014 Big South Baseball Championship is slated for Tuesday-Saturday, May 20-24  at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill.

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