Press release from Southern Miss Athletics
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Conference USA announced its 2016 preseason baseball awards Wednesday morning and includes Southern Miss senior first baseball Tim Lynch (Jupiter, Fla.) as part its 14-person, all-league team heading into the campaign. The league’s 12 head coaches chose the C-USA team and preseason poll.
Lynch, one of 17 returnees and five position player starters for the Golden Eagles in 2016, comes back as the top offensive threat for the Golden Eagles. He posted a .313 batting average a year ago with a team-best nine home runs and 32 runs batted to earn second-team C-USA accolades.
Florida Atlantic junior infielder CJ Chatham earned preseason Player of the Year, while Rice senior left-hander Blake Fox collected the preseason Pitcher of the Year honor.
For the second straight season, the preseason poll featured Rice as the unanimous favorite to win the league’s championship. The Owls have won either the regular season or tournament championship in each of its 10 years as a member of C-USA. Florida Atlantic collected second place in the voting, followed by Southern Miss in third, FIU, Old Dominion, UTSA, Middle Tennessee, UAB, WKU, Charlotte, Louisiana Tech and Marshall.
C-USA’s 21st baseball season gets underway on February 19. The conference championship is scheduled for May 25-29 at Pete Taylor Park on the Golden Eagle campus. C-USA’s baseball programs have produced 78 NCAA appearances and 10 College World Series teams over the past 20 seasons.
2016 PRESEASON BASEBALL AWARDS
(as selected by C-USA’s head coaches)
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Rice (12)
2. Florida Atlantic
3. Southern Miss
5. Old Dominion
7. Middle Tennessee
11. Louisiana Tech
(first place votes in parentheses)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CJ Chatham, Florida Atlantic (Junior, Infielder)
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Blake Fox, Rice (Senior, Left-hander)
P Chase Boster Sr. Marshall
P Blake Fox Sr. Rice
P Sam Sinnen Jr. Old Dominion
RP Thomas Lowery Jr. UAB
C Esteban Tresgallo Sr. UAB
IF CJ Chatham Jr. Florida Atlantic
IF Danny Hudzina Sr. WKU
IF Tim Lynch Sr. Southern Miss
IF Zach Rutherford So. Old Dominion
OF Corey Bird Jr. Marshall
OF Brad Jarreau Sr. Middle Tennessee
OF Connor Myers Sr. Old Dominion
OF Ryan Chandler So. Rice
DH/UT Brett Lashley Sr. Florida Atlantic