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2013 OVC Baseball Tournament Preview

The 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Tournament will kick off on Wednesday, May 22 at The Ballpark in Jackson, TN. The top six schools in the conference will compete for a chance to be crowned tournament champions and earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Regional Tournament.

Two teams, Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay, will receive first round byes for being the number one and two seeds, and will not play until Thursday, May 23. The remaining four teams — Belmont (#3), Jacksonville State (#4), Eastern Kentucky (#5), and Southeast Missouri (#6) — will begin play on Wednesday. The tournament will be double elimination format.

Here is a preview of this year’s field:

#1 Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles – (39-15, 24-6 OVC)

  • 2013 Regular Season Champions
  • Tied school record for wins in a season (39)
  • Broke OVC record for conference wins in a season (24)
  • Players to Watch:
    1B Zach Stephens – .341 AVG, 15 HR, 69 RBI
    3B Daniel Miles – .344 AVG, 12 HR, 53 RBI
    DH Brandon Thomasson – .284 AVG, 12 HR, 51 RBI
    SP Tristan Archer – 8-4, 3.55 ERA, 91 SO
  • Match-up: Worst seed of games 1 & 2 winners

#2 Austin Peay Governors – (42-13, 22-7 OVC)

  • Back-to-back OVC Tournament Champions (2011, 2012)
  • Won last 16 out of 17 games in regular season (12-game winning streak)
  • Ranked #26 in National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll
  • Players to Watch:
    1B Craig Massoni – .389 AVG, 15 HR, 64 RBI (.484 AVG in conference play)
    2B Jordan Hankins – .346 AVG, 61 R, 11 HR, 46 RBI
    SP Casey Delgado – 8-2, 4.98 ERA, 94 SO
    RP Tyler Rogers – 7-2, 1.93 ERA, 36 SO, 20 SV
  • Match-up: Best seed of games 1 & 2 winners

#3 Belmont Bruins – (37-18, 22-8 OVC)

  • OVC Tournament appearance in first debut season with conference
  • Set school record for single-season wins (37)
  • Lead OVC in ERA (3.76) and opp batting AVG(.256)
  • Players to Watch:
    1B Judah Akers – .288 AVG, 10 HR, 42 RBI
    SP Dan Ludwig – 11-2, 3.47 ERA, 71 SO
    RP Jessie Snodgrass – 42 appearances, 5-2, 68 SO (has not allowed HR in 65.2 IP)
  • Match-up: vs. #6 SEMO, Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

#4 Jacksonville State Gamecocks – (32-24, 22-8 OVC)

  • 10th straight appearance in tournament
  • Three-time tournament champions (2004, 2006, 2010)
  • Players to Watch:
    CF Michael Bishop – .354, 21 2B, 4 HR, 26 RBI
    2B Coty Blanchard – .310, 19 2B, 4 HR, 36 RBI
    RP Travis Stout – 3-0, 1.47 ERA, 17 SV
  • Match-up: vs. #5 EKU, Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.

#5 Eastern Kentucky Colonels – (20-32, 16-13 OVC)

  • Four-time tournament winners
  • Won 14 of its last 20 conference games
  • Out-scored opponents 186-113 in that stretch
  • Players to Watch:
    Shaun Ball – .302, 10 HR, 49 RBI
    Sean Hagen – .364, 3 HR, 35 RBI
    SP Brent Cobb – 6-6, 3.83 ERA, 46 SO
  • Match-up: vs. #4 JSU, Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.

#6 Southeast Missouri Redhawks – (24-31, 13-17 OVC)

  • OVC record 19th consectutive tournament appearance
  • Concluded regular season with series win over Memphis
  • Players to Watch:
    1B Matt Tellor – .315, 8 HR, 43 RBI
    2B Jason Blum – .305, 19 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI
    RP Bobby Hurst – 3-4, 1.76 ERA, 6 SV
  • Match-up: vs. #3 BEL, Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

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