When Austin Pritcher was born, family legend has it his grandmother signed him up for The Citadel’s class of 2013.

“It was destined for me to come here,” Pritcher says.

It was not destined for Pritcher to become one of the best pitchers in Citadel baseball history. The senior from James Island did that himself, earning the 2013 Southern Conference pitcher of the year award announced Monday.

“He made a commitment last summer to work on his body, his game, his mechanics, just a total commitment,” said Citadel coach Fred Jordan. “And it paid off.”

Pritcher compiled an 8-2 record with a league-best earned run average of 2.45 this season, topping the SoCon in innings pitched per game (6.57) and complete games (two). He was second in the league in opponents’ batting average (.237) and wins.

Pritcher has won his last five decisions, and has not lost since March 29 against regular season champion Western Carolina. In seven starts since then, his ERA is 1.79. His two complete games included a 6-0 win over Furman on April 26, when he allowed five hits and struck out six; and a 7-1 win over College of Charleston on May 1, when he gave up six hits and struck out four.

Pritcher is the eighth Citadel pitcher to earn the award, and the first since Asher Wojciechowski in 2010.

“I had guys like Wojo and Matt Talley ahead of me,” Pritcher said. “And (pitching coach) Britt Reames came in and really put me under his arm and guided me. I’ve had the same routine for the last two years, and that’s really helped me.”

Pritcher will get the start on Wednesday as the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (32-24) open the SoCon tournament against No. 5 Appalachian State (28-22).

A total of seven Bulldogs made the coaches and media All-SoCon teams announced Monday, with catcher Joe Jackson (.363, 12 homers, 62 RBI) on the first team.

Relief pitcher Skylar Hunter, second baseman Mason Davis, outfielder Hughston Armstrong and designated hitter Bo Thompson made the second team of both squads. First baseman Calvin Orth made the media second-team, and Hunter was named all-freshman.

College of Charleston second baseman Blake Butler and outfielder Brandon Murray made the coaches’ and media second team. Butler, pitcher Nathan Helvey and infielder Carl Wise were named all-freshman.

Furman senior Alex Abrams, a Bishop England High School graduate, made the media’s second team at first base.

Elon first baseman Ryan Kinsella was named the SoCon player of year after hitting .324 with 19 homers and 70 RBI.

Bobby Moranda of regular season champion Western Carolina was named coach of the year.

SoCon Baseball Coaches All-Southern Conference Team

Player of the year: Ryan Kinsella, Jr., 1B, Elon

Pitcher of the year: Austin Pritcher, Sr., RHP, The Citadel

Freshman of the year: Jaylin Davis, OF, Appalachian State

Coach of the year: Bobby Moranda, Western Carolina

First Team

SP Austin Pritcher, The Citadel; SP Jamie Nunn, Appalachian State; RP Preston Hatcher, Western Carolina; Joe Jackson, The Citadel; 1B Ryan Kinsella, Elon; 2B Hector Crespo, Appalachian State; SS Aaron Attaway, Western Carolina; 3B Tyler White, Western Carolina; OF Christian Wolfe, UNCG; OF Phillip Ervin, Samford; OF Julian Ridings, Western Carolina; DH C.K. Irby, Samford

SoCon Sports Media Association Baseball All-Southern Conference Team

Player of the year: Tyler White, Sr., 3B, Western Carolina

Pitcher of the year: Austin Pritcher, Sr., RHP, The Citadel

Freshman of the year: Benigno Marrero, 2B, UNCG

Coach of the year: Bobby Moranda, Western Carolina

First Team

SP Jamie Nunn, Appalachian State; SP Austin Pritcher, The Citadel; RP Preston Hatcher, Western Carolina; C Joe Jackson, The Citadel; 1B Ryan Kinsella, Elon; 2B Hector Crespo, Appalachian State; SS Aaron Attaway, Western Carolina; 3B Tyler White, Western Carolina; OF Christian Wolfe, UNCG; OF Christiaan Durdaller, Samford; OF Phillip Ervin, Samford; OF Julian Ridings, Western Carolina; DH C.K. Irby, Samford