Bulldogs picked 7th in SoCon

The Citadel’s Austin Mapes was named to the preseason all-SoCon team on Thursday. (SoCon photo)

The Citadel has been picked to finish tied for seventh in the Southern Conference by league coaches, and two Bulldogs made the preseason all-SoCon team.

Sophomore pitcher J.P. Sears and junior outfielder Austin Mapes were picked by the coaches for the preseason second team.

The coaches picked Samford to win the league this season, while the media went with defending regular-season and tournament champion Mercer.

Mercer’s Kyle Lewis was named the preseason player of the year, and Wofford’s Matthew Milburn the player of the year.

Sears, from Sumter, was 5-5 with a 4.28 earned-run average last season. Mapes, from Travelers Rest, batted .308, scored 45 runs and 10 stolen bases.

In the preseason SoCon coaches’ poll, The Citadel was selected to finish seventh and was voted to finish eighth by media members.

The Citadel will hold its annual Meet the Bulldogs event at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Riley Park, with a scrimmage set for 1 p.m. The Bulldogs open their season Feb. 19 with a three-game homestand against Virginia Tech.

SoCon Coaches Poll

Team (First-place votes) Points

1. Samford (4) 60

2. Mercer (4) 59

3. Wofford (1) 50

4. Western Carolina 37

5. UNCG 35

6. Furman 24

T7. The Citadel 21

T7. ETSU 21

9. VMI 17

SoCon Media Poll

Team (First-place votes) Points

1. Mercer (7) 119

2. Samford (7) 117

3. Wofford 91

4. Western Carolina 76

5. UNCG 62

6. Furman 50

7. VMI 43

8. The Citadel 39

9. ETSU 33

Preseason all-SoCon team

First Team

SP Matthew Milburn, Wofford

SP Adam Scott, Wofford

RP Will Stillman, Wofford

C Danny Bermudez, Western Carolina

1B Alex Lee, Samford

2B Trey York, ETSU

SS Matt Meeder, Mercer

3B Hunter Swilling, Samford

OF Kyle Lewis, Mercer

OF Heath Quinn, Samford

OF Matt Smith, Western Carolina

DH Austin Edens, Samford

Second Team

SP JP Sears, The Citadel

SP Will Gaddis, Furman

RP Taylor Edens, VMI

C Richard Greene, Samford

1B Kevin Phillips, ETSU

2B Frankie Navarrete, Samford

SS Chris Cook, ETSU

3B Collin Woody, UNCG

OF Austin Mapes, The Citadel

OF Jackson Ware, Mercer

OF T.J. Dixon, Samford

DH Devin Ruiz, UNCG