CSU's Ison named Big South preseason baseball player of year


Charleston Southern outfielder Bobby Ison is the Big South Conference's preseason baseball player of the year, the conference announced Tuesday.

Ison, a junior from Goose Creek, finished last season ranked the sixth toughest player in the nation to strike out. He was a first-team All-Big South honoree in 2013, ranking No. 1 in the conference with 84 hits and No. 3 with 111 total bases.

"I'm very proud of Bobby and he is very deserving of this recognition," CSU head coach Stuart Lake said. "He has put in the hard work in every aspect of being a student-athlete to reach this point.

"On the field, he's the prototypical leadoff man and centerfielder. He's the table-setter at the top of our order and has done so by making himself one of the toughest outs in college baseball."

Ison started all 56 games for the Buccaneers last season and ranked fourth in the conference with a .367 average. He had 27 RBIs and three home runs. In the field, he recorded 132 putouts and five assists to finish with a .972 fielding percentage.

Ison received five first-place votes in to finish with 24 points, ahead of Ashton Perritt of Liberty, who notched four top bids and 20 points in voting by the league's coaches. The Big South preseason pitcher of the year is Campbell senior Ryan Thompson.

Liberty is the preseason favorite to win the North Division with Coastal Carolina picked to win the South.

Also in the South Division, Gardner-Webb placed second with 56 points and Charleston Southern came in third with 45 points.

The Big South baseball season begins Feb. 14. The 2014 Big South Baseball Championship is set for May 20-24 in Rock Hill.