College Preview

2013 Ohio Valley Conference Preview

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  Conference Overall
  W L W L
*Austin Peay State 19 7 40 24
Belmont (A-Sun) 39 24
Jacksonville State 17 10 28 30
Eastern Kentucky 19 7 31 23
Eastern Illinois 15 11 29 29
Tennessee Tech 10 16 21 32
Morehead State 13 14 28 27
Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 13 14 27 28
Southeast Missouri State 12 15 23 36
Murray State 8 19 23 33
Tennessee-Martin 7 20 13 41
*2012 conference champion
Teams in bold are 2012 NCAA tournament participants. Teams are listed in predicted order of finish. Records listed are from 2012 season.
Projected NCAA Teams (1): Austin Peay State.
Conference Schedule: 30 games, begins March 8.
Conference Tournament: Six teams, May 22-26 at Jackson, Tenn.
Player of the Year: Jordan Hankins, 2b, Austin Peay State.
Pitcher of the Year: Anthony Bazzani, rhp, Eastern Kentucky.

1. Jordan Hankins, 2b, Austin Peay State
2. Anthony Bazzani, rhp, Eastern Kentucky
3. Coty Blanchard, of, Jacksonville State
4. Reed Harper, ss/3b, Austin Peay State
4. Joe Greenfield, rhp, Eastern Illinois
5. Zach Stephens, 1b, Tennessee Tech
6. Daniel Tobik, rhp, Tennessee-Martin
7. Lee Ridenhour, rhp, Austin Peay State
8. Aaron Gee, rhp, Morehead State (2014)
9. Seth Lucio, rhp, Tennessee Tech (2014)
10. Ryan Quick, rhp, Austin Peay State

1. Lee Ridenhour, rhp, Austin Peay State (Tr.—Johnson, Kan., CC).)
2. P.J. Schuster, rhp/1b, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (HS—Willowdale, Ill.)
3. Zach Hall, lhp, Austin Peay State (Tr.—Parkland, Ill., JC)
4. K.J. Roberts, of, Belmont (Tr.—Jackson, Tenn., State JC)
5. Zach Little, c, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (HS—Washington, Ill.)


Austin Peay State, located in Clarksville, Tenn., has won the league championship the last two seasons, but it's a different league in 2013. Belmont, located an hour away in Nashville, won the Atlantic Sun Conference the last two seasons and joins the league this year, bringing the league's membership up to 11. The Bruins did it with college grinders, considering they haven't have a player drafted the last two seasons, and the club lost ace Matt Hamann and closer Garrett Fanchier to graduation. A pair of seniors, LHP Chase Brookshire (8-4, 2.45) and RHP Josh Davis (8-1, 2.45), will carry much of the pitching load.

• The Governors enter the season as the favorite thanks to a veteran core led by Sr. SS/3B Reed Harper (.327/.385/.440) and OF Cody Hudson (.300/.382/.460, 21 SB), both three-year starters, and USA Baseball College National Team alum Jr. 2B Jordan Hankins (.336/.444/.544, 10 HRs), the Governors' top bat. The lineup gets a boost from a pair of newcomers from Chabot (Calif.) JC in OF Craig Massoni and SS Kevin Corey, who's good enough defensively to slide the solid Harper to third. Another JC transfer, RHP Lee Ridenhour, is penciled into the front of the rotation with holdover Sr. RHP Casey Delgado (9-4, 5.59), who threw a complete-game shutout last year against Cal State Fullerton in regional play. Ridenhour's career began at Kansas, but he missed the 2010-11 seasons due to ankle surgery and complications from a blood disorder. The 23-year-old returned to the field last season, and his fastball touched 95 mph in the fall. Sr. RHP Tyler Rogers (4-4, 2.26, 12 SV) brings his submarine delivery back to the back of the bullpen.

Jacksonville State keeps waiting for a breakout from Jr. OF Coty Blanchard, who might deliver this year now that he's more focused on baseball. Blanchard played well in the Cape Cod League last summer (.257, 8 SB in 136 AB) and lost the Gamecocks' starting quarterback job last fall. In his draft-eligible season, he's the focus of the Gamecocks' baseball lineup.

Morehead State welcomes Mike McGuire as its new head coach after Jay Sorg resigned. McGuire was head coach at Louisburg (N.C.) JC for one season after more than a decade as an assistant at Winthrop. Morehead State hasn't gone to regionals since 1983 and has no real winning tradition in the sport, with the school record for victories set at 31. Southeast Missouri State coach Mark Hogan retired after 18 seasons at the school and two regional trips, in 1998 and 2002. Steve Bieser, the team's pitching coach and an ex-big leaguer, takes over as interim head coach and inherits a roster that includes his son Jr. OF Cole Bieser (.238/.342/.285, 5 SB). The Redhawks lost 3B Trenton Moses, who led the nation in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS last year in a .408/.531/.761 season. SS Kenton Parmley, who put together a 47-game hitting streak last year, is also gone.