Jan. 31, 2013

Inside: With Mercer's Nick Backlund

CBI Atlantic Sun preview

Atlantic Sun Preseason Coaches' Poll


Bumgardner, Knapp lead Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team


USC Upstate junior outfielder Gaither Bumgardner was named Preseason Player of the Year and junior Ricky Knapp (left) of FGCU was picked Preseason Pitcher of the Year as the Atlantic Sun Conference announced its Preseason All-A-Sun Team, in voting by the league’s head coaches as released by the conference office.


Knapp recorded nine victories a season ago, the top mark in the league. His ERA of 2.34 was second-best in the A-Sun. Knapp logged 111.1 innings and led the conference with three complete-game shutouts.


Bumgardner (right) batted .376 in 2012 for the Spartans, the second-highest mark in the conference. He registered 12 doubles, 43 runs and on-base percentage of .439.


Mercer and North Florida both had four players on the preseason all-conference team, the top mark in the league.


In the fan voting, Brandon Bednar of FGCU was Preseason Player of the Year and Tyler Moore of North Florida was Preseason Pitcher of the Year.


The 2013 campaign begins on Friday, Feb. 15, with all 10 teams in action. Conference play kicks off the weekend of March 15-17, with Mercer at Kennesaw State and East Tennessee State at USC Upstate. The Atlantic Sun Championship will be held at Stetson’s Melching Field at Conrad Park in DeLand, Fla. The six-team double elimination tournament will be held from May 22-25.


2013 Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team


Preseason Player of the Year: Gaither Bumgardner, USC Upstate

Fan-Voted Preseason Player of the Year: Brandon Bednar, FGCU

Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Ricky Knapp, FGCU

Fan-Voted Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Moore, North Florida


Pos. Name School Class

*SP Ricky Knapp FGCU Jr.

SP Chris Anderson Jacksonville Jr.

SP Tyler Moore North Florida Jr.

RP Chad Sobotka USC Upstate So.

C Corey Bass North Florida Sr.

1B Clinton Freeman ETSU Jr.

2B Andy Almonte Kennesaw State Sr.

2B Joe Wielbruda North Florida Sr.

3B Chesny Young Mercer So.

SS Evan Boyd Mercer Sr.

*OF Tyler Marincov North Florida Jr.

OF Derrick Workman Mercer Jr.

OF Gaither Bumgardner USC Upstate Jr.

*DH Nick Backlund Mercer Jr.


*unanimous choice

A tie in voting resulted in a 14-person team


(photos courtesy of FGCU & USC Upstate Media Relations Offices)