SWAC announces 2010 preseason baseball honors

By SWAC Media Relations
Updated: February 19, 2010

BIRMINGHAM — The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its 2010 baseball preseason honors this week, with Alcorn State 1B Eduardo Gonzalez named Preseason Player of the Year, and Southern’s Jarrett Maloy the Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Southern, the 2009 Champions, was picked to repeat as both SWAC and Western Division champions. Jackson State was picked to win the Eastern Division in voting done by conference coaches and sports information departments.

Gonzalez, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore from Tampa, FL, led the SWAC in batting average (.406) and hits (70) in 2009 while tying for sixth in total bases (96).

His batting average ranked third in the nation among freshmen last season as he earned All-SWAC second team, SWAC Freshman of the Year, and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.

Maloy, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior from Tallahassee, Florida was third in the conference in wins (eight) and second in earned run average (3.50) in 2009.

He also was fifth in opposing batting average (.277), tied third in batters struck out looking (21) and tied for fourth in fewest earned runs allowed (28). Maloy earned first-team All-SWAC honors and SWAC Tournament MVP honors last season.

In the predicted order of finish, Southern collected 12 first place votes and 85 points. Texas Southern (one first place vote) was second in the West with 58 voting points, followed by Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (two first place votes) with 58 points, Prairie View A&M (one first place vote) with 40 points and Grambling State (one first place vote) with 37 points.

Jackson State was picked to win the Eastern Division as the Tigers garnered eight first place votes and 71 points, just ahead of defending division champion Mississippi Valley State, which was second (five first-place votes) with 68 points.

Alcorn State, which lost in the SWAC Tournament Championship game, was picked third (three first place votes) with 63 points, Alabama A&M fourth with 38 points and Alabama State fifth (two first place votes) with 30 points.

Southern led the way with five players chosen for preseason honors – four on the first team. Jackson State had four players selected, while Grambling State and Mississippi Valley State each had three players on the preseason team.

Alcorn State and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff each had two players selected, while Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Prairie View A&M each had one selection.