Jan. 31, 2009

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Coastal Carolina Claims Top Spot in Big South Poll

Gregory, McCully named Preseason Players of the Year


Coastal Carolina is the favorite to win the Big South Conference title in voting by the league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.


Radford senior infielder Alex Gregory was named Big South Preseason Player of the Year, while Coastal Carolina junior Nick McCully (left) was tabbed Preseason Pitcher of the Year.


Gary Gilmore’s Chanticleers received seven first-place votes and 97 points. Coastal returns six position starters and nine pitchers from last year’s squad that won the Big South Championship and became the first conference school to reach a Super Regional.


Liberty earned two first-place votes and 86 points to claim second place. Winthrop received the final first-place vote and 78 points for third place, followed closely in fourth by VMI with 74 points. Radford was fifth, followed by High Point, Gardner-Webb, UNC Asheville, Charleston Southern and Presbyterian.


Gregory hit .401 a season ago with 14 home runs, 51 RBI and a school-record 83 hits. Gregory is one of two Division I players to hit at least .400 in each of the past two seasons (joining Dustin Ackley of North Carolina).

McCully posted a 10-3 mark in 2008, leading the Big South in victories. In 24 appearances, McCully fanned 72 in 89.1 innings with an ERA of 3.63. He also recorded three saves. McCully was 5-1 in six conference starts with a 1.88 ERA.


All 10 Big South teams open the season on Friday, Feb. 20. Conference play begins March 6. The Big South Tournament will be held May 19-23 at UNC Asheville’s McCormick Field.


2009 Big South Conference Preseason Baseball Poll
1. Coastal Carolina (7) 97

2. Liberty (2) 86

3. Winthrop (1) 78

4. VMI 74

5. Radford 53

6. High Point 46

7. Gardner-Webb 43

8. UNC Asheville 38

9. Charleston Southern 22

10. Presbyterian 13

(photo courtesy of Coastal Carolina Media Relations Office)