Jan. 24, 2012

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Coastal Carolina picked to repeat as Big South champion

Zebedis, Conway earn preseason individual honors


Coastal Carolina is the preseason favorite in the Big South for the fifth straight year, in voting by the league’s head coaches as released by the conference office.


Chanticleer junior right-hander Josh Conway was voted the league’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year, while Presbyterian sophomore catcher/first baseman Brad Zebedis was picked Preseason Player of the Year.


Coastal, led by head coach Gary Gilmore (right), received 10 of the 11 first-place votes to take the top spot by a comfortable margin with 120 points. Liberty received the other first-place vote and garnered 98 points to edge Radford (97) for second. Winthrop came in fourth, followed by Gardner-Webb, Charleston Southern, VMI, High Point, Campbell, Presbyterian and UNC Asheville.


The Chants return eight starters, including four pitchers, from last year’s club which went 42-20 overall and 20-7 in league play. Coastal won its fifth consecutive Big South title and corresponding NCAA tourney berth.


Conway went 8-2 with three saves in 20 appearances a season ago. He struck out 70 in 77 innings while posting a 2.69 ERA. Conway was 3-0 with two saves in nine conference appearances.


Zebedis was Freshman of the Year in the Big South in 2011 as he batted .425 with 13 home runs, 23 doubles and 57 RBI. He hit .406 in 27 league contests with seven homers and 27 RBI.


The season begins on Friday, Feb. 17 with all 11 teams taking the field. Conference play starts on March 16. The 2012 Big South Championship will take play from May 22-26 at Williard Stadium in High Point, N.C.


2012 Big South Preseason Poll


Team, Points (First Place) (2011 Big South, Overall Records)

1. Coastal Carolina, 120 (10) (20-7, 42-20)

2. Liberty, 98 (1) (18-9, 35-24)

3. Radford, 97 (14-13, 31-25)

4. Winthrop, 76 (15-12, 27-30)

5. Gardner-Webb, 66 (14-13, 34-23-1)

6. Charleston Southern, 65 (15-12, 29-30)

7. VMI, 64 (14-13, 27-24-1)

8. High Point, 59 (9-18, 24-32)

9. Campbell, 31 (3-27 in A-Sun, 17-37)

10. Presbyterian, 30 (9-18, 24-32)

11. UNC Asheville, 20 (7-20, 15-37)


Preseason Player of the Year: Brad Zebedis, Presbyterian

Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Josh Conway, Coastal Carolina


(photo courtesy of Coastal Carolina Media Relations Office)