Cougars Gantt, Powell top SoCon honors

College of Charleston outfielder Marty Gantt was picked by the Southern Conference coaches as player of the year. Provided by College of Charleston.

College of Charleston center fielder Marty Gantt has been voted the Southern Conference player of the year while teammate Christian Powell, a junior right-hander, has been honored as pitcher of the year in voting by the league’s 11 head coaches.

Appalachian State head coach Chris Pollard was voted coach of the year after guiding the Mountaineers to a share of the league title with College of Charleston. The Mountaineers were picked to finish fifth and sixth in preseason polls by the media.

Georgia Southern catcher Chase Griffin was freshman of the year.

College of Charleston outfielder Brandon Murray and shortstop Bradley Goodson were named second team all-conference.

No Citadel players made first- or second-team all-conference, but left-handed pitcher Kevin Connell and second baseman Mason Davis were named to the all-freshman team.

Appalachian State and Samford led the way with six all-conference selections each, and Samford had four first-team picks.

Gantt was one of the top hitters in the conference this season, leading the SoCon in on-base percentage (.481), runs scored (62) and walks (41) while also appearing in the top 3 in batting average, slugging percentage, hits and doubles. The senior hit .349 with 10 home runs and 40 runs batted in while also swiping 25 bases and fielding at a .982 clip. He was instrumental in Charleston winning a share of the conference regular season title for the first time since 2007.

Powell finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and a conference-low 2.32 ERA among eligible pitchers. The right-hander struck out 69 batters while limiting opponents to a .230 average at the plate. Powell was 7-2 in his 10 SoCon starts, including a key victory at SoCon co-champion Appalachian State on April 8.

2012 SoCon Baseball All-Conference Team

Player of the Year – Marty Gantt, Sr., OF, College of Charleston

Pitcher of the Year – Christian Powell, Jr., RHP, College of Charleston

Freshman of the Year – Chase Griffin, C, Georgia Southern

Coach of the Year – Chris Pollard, Appalachian State

First Team SP Christian Powell, College of Charleston

SP Josh Martin, Samford RP Preston Hatcher, Western Carolina

C Alex Swim, Elon 1B Saxon Butler, Samford

2B Ross Heffley, Western Carolina

SS Will Callaway, Appalachian State

3B Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern

OF Marty Gantt, College of Charleston

OF Phillip Ervin, Samford OF Brandon Miller, Samford

DH Daniel Kassouf, Appalachian State

Second Team SP Ryan Arrowood, Appalachian State

SP Brandon Yarusi, Wofford RP C.K. Irby, Samford

C Brad Moss, Samford 1B Ryan Kinsella, Elon

2B Hector Crespo, Appalachian State

SS Bradley Goodson, College of Charleston

3B Thomas Troelstrup, UNCG OF Tyler Tewell, Appalachian State

OF Tyler Zupcic, Appalachian State

OF Brandon Murray, College of Charleston

DH Jacob Hoyle, Western Carolina

All-Freshman Team Brandon Burris, Appalachian State

Jamie Nunn, Appalachian State Kevin Connell, The Citadel

Mason Davis, The Citadel Henry Sisson, Davidson

Chris Ohmstede, Furman Elliott Warford, Furman

Tyler Avera, Georgia Southern Chase Griffin, Georgia Southern

Jacob Hoyle, Western Carolina Jeremy Null, Western Carolina

Bradley Strong, Western Carolina