Jan. 26, 2012

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Hicks, Kubitza claim C-USA individual honors


UCF junior D.J. Hicks (right) was named the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year, while Rice sophomore left-hander Austin Kubitza was tabbed Preseason Pitcher of the Year, in voting by the league’s head coaches and as released by the conference office.


Hicks, an All-American in 2011, led Conference USA with 66 RBI a year ago. He batted .351 with 11 doubles, 14 homers and 42 runs in 2011. Hicks has two hit streaks of at least 10 games a season ago.


Kubitza was the C-USA Freshman of the Year, posting a 6-5 record in 15 starts. He struck out 102 and walked 24 in 100 innings while recording a 2.34 ERA in 2011.


Kubitza (left) was one of four Owls to earn spots on the preseason all-conference squad, joining junior reliever Tyler Duffey and junior outfielders Jeremy Rathjen and Michael Ratterree.


East Carolina (C Zach Wright, P Kevin Brandt, IF Corey Thompson) and UCF (Hicks, SS Darnell Sweeney, OF Ronnie Richardson) both had three players on the C-USA preseason all-conference team.


The 2012 campaign begins on Friday, Feb. 17, with all nine teams in action. Conference play starts on March 23. The top eight teams will compete in the 2012 C-USA Tournament, May 24-28 in Pearl, Miss.


2012 Conference USA Preseason All-Conference Team


Pos. Name, Class, School

P Kevin Brandt, Sr., East Carolina

P Austin Kubitza, So., Rice (right)

P Dillon Napoleon, Sr., UAB

RP Tyler Duffey, Jr., Rice

C Jeremy Schaffer, Sr., Tulane

C Zach Wright, Sr., East Carolina

IF Chase Jensen, Jr., Houston

IF Darnell Sweeney, Jr., UCF

IF Corey Thompson, Sr., East Carolina

IF Jacob Wilson, Sr., Memphis

OF Kameron Brunty, Sr., Southern Miss

OF Jeremy Rathjen, Jr., Rice

OF Michael Ratterree, Jr., Rice

OF Ronnie Richardson, Jr., UCF

DH/UT D.J. Hicks, Jr., UCF (right)


Preseason Player of the Year – D.J. Hicks, UTIL, UCF

Preseason Pitcher of the Year – Austin Kubitza, RHP, Rice


(photos courtesy of Rice & UCF Media Relations Offices)