Jan. 30, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Three Southern Miss baseball players garnered Conference USA accolades while the Golden Eagles were chosen second in the annual preseason awards voted on by the league's nine coaches.
Southern Miss' three selections included senior Andrew Pierce at starting pitcher, sophomore Mason Robbins in the outfield and Bradley Roney at relief pitcher.
Pierce was named Conference USA Newcomer of the Year in 2012 after emerging as the ace of the Golden Eagles' staff in his first season. He posted a 7-4 record with a 1.99 earned run average, second-lowest in C-USA. Pierce threw two complete games and was a part of three shutouts, including one in which he went the distance. He registered 96 strikeouts (second in the conference), while issuing just 16 walks.
Robbins, who plays both in the outfield and pitches, was the Conference USA Freshman of The Year last season. He batted .330 with 11 doubles, five triples, three homers and 38 RBI. He started the season with an 18-game hitting streak and led the squad in multiple-hit games with 22 and added 10 multi-RBI contests. In addition, Robbins posted a 1-0 pitching record with a 4.01 ERA.
Roney, who also plays in the Golden Eagle infield was chosen as the preseason relief pitcher after posting the most saves by a Golden Eagle freshman in 2012 (11). He ended the year with a 2-1 record and a 2.42 ERA, fanning 26 batters in 26 innings of work and allowed opponents to hit just .200 off of him during the campaign.
In the preseason poll, the Golden Eagles placed second behind Rice, who got seven of the nine first-place votes. Southern Miss, which received one first-place vote, finished ahead of No. 3 East Carolina, and then followed by UCF, Tulane (which earned the final first-place vote), Memphis, Houston, UAB and Marshall to round out the predicted order of finish.
Rice senior infielder Christian Stringer was chosen as the preseason Player of the Year, while Owls junior right-hander Austin Kubitza was named the preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Conference USA's 18th baseball season gets underway on February 15. The conference tournament is scheduled for May 22-26 in Houston, Texas. C-USA's nine baseball schools have produced 72 NCAA appearances and 10 College World Series teams over the past 17 seasons.
2013 Preseason Baseball Awards
(as selected by C-USA's head coaches)
Predicted Order of Finish
1. Rice (7)
2. Southern Miss (1)
3. East Carolina
5. Tulane (1)
(first place votes in parentheses)
Player of the Year
Christian Stringer, Rice (Senior, Infielder)
Pitcher of the Year
Austin Kubitza, Rice (Junior, Right-hander)
|P||Andrew Pierce||Sr.||Southern Miss|
|RP||Bradley Roney||So.||Southern Miss|
|IF||Jack Reinheimer||Jr.||East Carolina|
|OF||Mason Robbins||So.||Southern Miss|
|DH/UT||Drew Reynolds||Jr.||East Carolina|