CB Daily’s Preseason League Teams, Part IV

The fourth, and last, group includes the Northeast Conference, SEC, Southern Conference, Summit League, Sun Belt, and SWAC. Out of the twelve players listed here, five are from the Front Royal Cardinals, two are from Waynesboro, and one each from New Market, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Covington, and Winchester.

Northeast Conference

  • Alex Briggs (Front Royal 2018) was named preseason All-League at third base. Alex, a transfer from Pasadena City College, hit 282/355/492 at Long Island in 2018, his junior year. He hit 292/376/387 for the Cardinals last summer.
  • Outfielder Andrew Smith (Front Royal 2018) also made the preseason team. He hit 296/418/500 in 162 at-bats for Long Island last year, and batted 7 times for the Cards in the summer. He also batted twice for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League.

SEC

  • Blake Reese (New Market 2017) has been named to the second team at second base. Now a senior at Florida, Reese hit 253/375/416 in 233 at-bats for the Gators in 2018- with 40 walks- and even though he only had 34 at-bats in 2017 with the Rebels, still made an impact, slashing 412/535/735, with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, and 9 walks. Blake has also made the SEC Honor Roll in all three years in college so far!

Southern Conference

  • Austin Embler (Harrisonburg 2017-18) is first team at second base. A senior at North Carolina-Greensboro, Austin hit 357/438/467 in 227 at-bats as a junior, with 15 doubles, 30 walks, and 9 stolen bases. He hit 238/322/270 in 126 at-bats for the Turks in 2017, but exploded in 2018, hitting 388/479/621 in 116 at-bats, with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, and 21 walks. He was ATVL’s #3 hitter last summer.
  • Le Bassett (Front Royal 2018), from Mercer, is all-conference at designated hitter. For Mercer in his freshman year in 2018, he hit 282/377/678 in 149 at-bats, with 33 runs, 60 RBIs, 4 doubles, 2 triples, and 17 home runs. He batted 9 times for Front Royal in 2018.
  • Wofford’s Austin Higginbotham (Charlottesville 2017) is all-conference at starting pitcher. The 5-foot-10 lefty went 6-5, 4.50 in 16 games in college in 2018 (15 starts), with a 1.44 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, and 6.5 K/9. Austin started 4 games for the Tom Sox in 2017, going 3-0, 4.58, with a 1.67 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, and 6.9 K/9 in 19 2/3 innings pitched.

Southland

  • It feels like John Barr (Winchester 2015-16) has been around forever. He has made two separate ATVL lists- the 13th best reliever in 2015 and the 15th best starter in 2016. In the summer of ’15, he went 2-2, 2.49, with 7 saves, a 1.27 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and 8.7 K/9 in 21 2/3 innings. He became a starter the next summer, and went 3-1, 3.68, with a 1.22 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, and 4.4 K/9 in 36 2/3 innings. At New Orleans for his college season in 2018, Barr went 6-3, 2.04, with a 1.10 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, and 9.2 K/9 in 66 innings. He’s preseason All-League at relief pitcher.

Summit League

  • North Dakota State’s Bennett Hostetler (Covington 2018) is preseason all-conference at shortstop. Bennett hit 225/351/314 in 191 at-bats for N.D. State in 2018, with a solid 29/35 BB/K ratio. He was outstanding for the Lumberjacks last summer, hitting 353/421/478 in 136 at-bats, and was named the league’s 14th best hitter.
  • Nebraska-Omaha’s Thomas DeBonville (Front Royal 2018) is also first team, but in the outfield. He hit 259/343/423 in 189 at-bats in his last college season, and went 3-21 in his short stay in the Valley last summer. He was second team All-Summit League and made the Academic Honor Roll as well in 2018.

Sun Belt

  • Carter Perkins (Front Royal 2017) has been named preseason All-League at catcher. Carter hit 301/410/506 for South Alabama in 2018, with 9 doubles and 9 home runs in 176 at-bats. He batted 27 times for the Cardinals in 2017, slashing 222/290/259.

SWAC

  • Darren Kelly (Waynesboro 2016) is preseason all-conference at starting pitcher. The senior righthander started four games for Alabama State in 2018 before missing the rest of the season with an injury. In those four games, he went 2-0, 1.96, with a 0.57 WHIP, 0.8 BB/9, and 16.0 K/9 in 23 innings. He threw 15 1/3 innings for the Generals back in 2016, going 0-1, 4.11, with 2 saves, a 1.59 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, and 10.6 K/9.
  • Another former General, Aron Solis (2018), from Texas Southern, is also preseason all-conference at starting pitcher. The 2018 SWAC Pitcher of the Year, Aron went 10-4, 3.67 in 90 2/3 innings pitched, with a 1.32 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and 6.9 K/9. Then he came to the Valley, and went 2-0, 0.59 in 15 1/3 innings, all in relief. He finished with a 1.19 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, and 14.1 K/9, and was ATVL’s 11th best reliever of the season.

 

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