Feb. 13, 2009

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Elon Picked to Repeat in Southern Conference

Harrilchak, Simpson Earn Individual Honors


Elon is the preseason pick to repeat as Southern Conference champion in voting by the league’s head coaches and by voting members of the Southern Conference Sports Media Association, and released by the conference office.


The Phoenix became the first team in seven years to win the regular season and tournament crowns in 2008. Elon was 44-18 overall a season ago and 19-8 in the Southern Conference. The Phoenix received eight of 11 first-place votes by the coaches (who could not vote for their own team) and 15 of 18 by the media to claim the top spot in both polls. Elon returns seven position starters and nine pitchers, including Preseason Player of the Year Cory Harrilchak (pictured). The senior hit .410 a season ago with 11 homers and 46 RBI. He also posted a 7-3 record on the mound.

The polls only differ in second and third place. The coaches put Georgia Southern second with three first-place votes and 89 points. The Eagles were 33-25 a year ago, including 16-11 in league play. GSU got one first-place vote and 158 points by the media for third place.


The media voted College of Charleston second with two first-place votes and 176 points. The Cougars were third in the coaches poll with 79 points. First-year skipper Monte Lee welcomes back the Preseason Pitcher of the Year Jesse Simpson. The senior was 9-3 in 2008 with a 3.88 ERA.

The polls mirror each other the rest of the way, with The Citadel fourth, followed by Appalachian State, Western Carolina, UNC Greensboro, Furman, Samford, Wofford and Davidson. This will be the first season in the league for Samford, which finished second a year ago in the Ohio Valley Conference.


All 11 league teams begin the season Feb. 20. The Southern Conference Championship will be held May 20-24 at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.

Southern Conference Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Elon (8) 98
2. Georgia Southern (3) 89
3. College of Charleston 79
4. The Citadel 62
5. Appalachian State 57
6. Western Carolina 52
7. UNC Greensboro 51
8. Furman 46
9. Samford 40
10. Wofford 19
11. Davidson 12

Southern Conference Preseason Media Poll
1. Elon (15) 194
2. College of Charleston (2) 176
3. Georgia Southern (1) 158
4. The Citadel 125
5. Appalachian State 110
6. Western Carolina 101
7. UNC Greensboro 91
8. Furman 89
9. Samford 83
10. Wofford 41
11. Davidson 20


Preseason All-SoCon Team

Preseason Player of the Year
– Cory Harrilchak, Sr., OF/P, Elon
Preseason Pitcher of the Year – Jesse Simpson, Sr., RHP, College of Charleston

First Team
P - Jesse Simpson, College of Charleston
P - Chris Masters, Western Carolina
RP - Thomas Girdwood, Elon
C - Griffin Benedict, Georgia Southern
1B - David Towarnicky, Appalachian State
2B - Brandon Sizemore, College of Charleston
SS - Michael Gilmartin, Wofford
3B - A.J. Wirnsberger, Georgia Southern
OF - Cory Harrilchak, Elon
OF - Sonny Meade, The Citadel
OF - Ty Wright, Georgia Southern
DH - Reese Wade, Furman

Second Team
P - Matt Andress, Appalachian State
P - Wes Wrenn, The Citadel
P - Cory Harrilchak, Elon
RP - Nick Karow, Furman
C - Dallas Tarleton, Elon
1B - Chris McGuiness, The Citadel
2B - Nick Liles, Western Carolina
SS - Brent Greer, Western Carolina
3B - Bennett Davis, Elon
OF - Corey Overholtzer, UNC Greensboro
OF - Jake Williams, Wofford
OF - Phillip Porter, Georgia Southern
DH - Greg Blake, College of Charleston

(photo courtesy of Elon Media Relations Office)