Troy's Logan Pierce Named Pre-Season Sun Belt Player of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – Troy senior Logan Pierce was named the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Preseason Player of the Year and the Trojans were tabbed to finish fourth in the league in a vote by the Sun Belt head coaches, the league office announced Monday morning.

Pierce, Nate Hill and Danny Collins were all named to the Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team that was also released on Monday. Troy’s three selections to the preseason team are tied with South Alabama for the most in the league.

Pierce, who will move from first base to third base this season, earned first team all-conference honors last season after he hit at a .341 clip with 51 runs scored, 77 hits, 18 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 47 RBIs, a .496 slugging percentage, a .444 on-base percentage and .940 OPS. The native of Troy, Ala., finished in the top seven in the Sun Belt in eight offensive categories and put together a 20-game hit streak.

Pierce hit safely in 43 of Troy 58 games in 2012 and reached base safely in 52 of those 58 contests. He finished the year ranked 44th in the NCAA after drawing 43 walks and also ranked nationally in on-base percentage, double, runs scored and hits. Playing in the prestigious New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) this past summer, Pierce was selected to play in the league’s All-Star Game.

Collins, a junior from Niceville, Fla., enters the 2013 season coming off an MVP campaign in the NECBL over the summer where he set single-season records in home runs, slugging percentage, extra-base hits and total bases. Collins will make the move to the outfield this season after playing third base in his initial campaign with the Trojans.

Last season, Collins finished third in the Sun Belt with 12 home runs, fourth with 17 doubles, third with 52 RBIs, fifth with a .562 slugging percentage and third with 131 total bases. He was named to the Sun Belt All-Tournament Team and finished the year ranked 53rd in the NCAA in home runs.

Hill, who was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List last week, has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the Sun Belt Conference the past two seasons. The Meridianville, Ala., native is 12-4 with seven saves and a 3.12 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 132.2 innings in his two seasons at Troy. The southpaw went 7-2 with a 3.53 ERA last season and set the Troy single-season record with 35 appearances out of the bullpen; he led the Sun Belt in appearances and led all relievers in innings pitched.

Hill was named to the All-Sun Belt Tournament Team after he struck out nine batters over 7.2 scoreless innings in two outings. The senior has not allowed an earned run in 41 of his 65 career appearances and enters the 2013 season 11 appearances shy of setting the Troy career mark.

The Trojans open the 2013 season on Friday at 6 p.m. with the first game of a four-game series against Florida A&M at Riddle-Pace Field. The series continues with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a single-game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Season tickets for Troy's 33-home games can be purchased by contacting the Troy ticket office at 1-877-878-WINS or online at TroyTrojans.com.

2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team

Chance Cleveland (UALR, Senior, RHP)

Austin Gomber (Florida Atlantic, Sophomore, LHP)

Michael Ellis (FIU, Junior, RHP)

Johnathan Frebis (Middle Tennessee, Sophomore, LHP)

Nate Hill (Troy, Senior, LHP)

Aramis Garcia (FIU, Sophomore, Catcher)

Mark Nelson (Florida Atlantic, Senior, 1B)

Logan Kirkland (South Alabama, Sophomore, 2B

Dustin Jones (Arkansas State, Junior, SS)

Logan Pierce (Troy, Senior, 3B)

Logan Uxa (Arkansas State, Senior, OF)

Trent Miller (Middle Tennessee, Junior, OF)

Danny Collins (Troy, Junior, OF)

Whitt Dorsey (South Alabama, Senior, DH)

Jordan Patterson (South Alabama, Junior, UTIL)

2013 Preseason Player of the Year

Logan Pierce (Troy, Senior, 3B)

2013 Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Chance Cleveland (UALR, Senior, RHP)

2013 SBC Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)

1. Florida Atlantic (5) - 89 pts

2. FIU (1) - 85 pts

3. South Alabama - 67 pts

4. Troy - 61 pts

5. Arkansas State (1) - 60 pts

6. Middle Tennessee (1) - 56 pts

7. Western Kentucky - 42 pts

8. Louisiana-Lafayette (1) - 39 pts

9. ULM (1) - 31 pts

10. UALR - 20 pts


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