Feb. 15, 2012

click here for coaches' SoCon preseason poll

click here for coaches' preseason All-SoCon team


Georgia Southern tops tight Southern Conference


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2012 college baseball season by sharing their insights on the teams and players to watch in their conferences. CBI compiled their answers to provide a sneak peek for the season ahead. click here for CBI Conference Previews


Today, we take a look at the Southern Conference (10 of 11 coaches responded).


The team to beat in your conference is: Georgia Southern


Rank the top three starting pitchers: Chris Beck, Georgia Southern; Ryan Arrowood, Appalachian State; Josh Renfro, College of Charleston


The top closer is: Lex Rutledge, Samford (right)


The pitcher you least want to face is: Chris Beck, Georgia Southern


The most underrated pitcher is: (tie) Ryan Arrowood, Appalachian State; and Cash Collins, Wofford


The best defensive catcher is: (tie) Jeremy Dowdy, Appalachian State; and Brad Moss, Samford


The best catcher arm is: Alex Swim, Elon


The best defensive infielder is: Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern


The best infield arm is: Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern


The best defensive outfielder is: Tyler Zupcic, Appalachian State


The best outfield arm is: Phillip Ervin, Samford


Rank the three best pure hitters: Ross Heffley, Western Carolina (right); Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern; Victor Roache, Georgia Southern


Rank the three biggest power threats: Victor Roache, Georgia Southern; Daniel Aldrich, College of Charleston; Mac Doyle, Wofford


The hitter you least want to face is: Victor Roache, Georgia Southern


The toughest hitter to strike out is: Ross Heffley, Western Carolina


The most underrated hitter is: (tie) Drew Gadaire, Davidson; and Marty Gantt, College of Charleston


The best base-runner is: Marty Gantt, College of Charleston; and Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern


The best game coach is: Mike Kennedy, Elon


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job is: Greg Starbuck, Elon


(photos courtesy of Samford & WCU Media Relations Offices)