Courtesy of the SIAC
The 2023 preseason team returns 14 of the 30 players from the 2022 Baseball All-Conference Teams.
Savannah State paced this year’s preseason team with nine selections after closing last season with one of the best records in modern Tigers’ history at 34-12. They led the regular season with a 28-2 conference mark and entered last year’s tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Tigers return 2022 SIAC Player of the Year, Joe Smith, who had an incredible redshirt-junior season. The Brunswick, Georgia native led the Tigers at the plate with a .441 batting average, 71 hits, nine doubles, triples, and home runs, 41 RBIs, and a .776 slugging percentage. By the end of the season, Smith was the third best hitter in the SIAC and sixth best in NCAA Division II. He led the SIAC in hits per game and triples and was named to ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division II South All-Region First Team and participated in the 2022 HBCU All-Star game. Joining him are starting pitchers Jared Showalter and Enrico Peele, first baseman Andrai Wright, second baseman Champion Robbins, relief pitcher Rahmir Vaughn, shortstop Gabriel Patxot, and utility player Jaden Oden.
The Golden Rams of Albany State (32-16, 24-5 SIAC) are tied at seven preseason selections with the Badgers of Spring Hill College. The Rams are returning most of the hitters from a team that ranked sixth in the country in batting average (.350) last season and second in the country in runs per game (10.7). Some key returners for the 2023 season include: utility player and third baseman Nathan Lloyd, starting pitcher Jeremiah Reddell, second baseman Hill Corley, outfielders Lavoisier Fisher and Zane Ross, and designated hitter Tucker Jordan.
Defending SIAC champions, Spring Hill (38-15, 23-4 SIAC), closed out their 2022 campaign at the NCAA Division II South 1 Region Tournament and landed seven standout student-athletes on the league’s preseason team. This year’s returners include outfielder Gage Ragona who was second for NCAA Division II in runs scored with 88 trips around the base paths. Last season, he hit .435 in 51 starts with 20 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 48 RBIs and was named to the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-South Region Teams. He was also named to the NCBWA Preseason All-South Region Honorable Mention Team alongside SHC’s short stop Norris McClure. Last season, McClure posted a .378 average with 79 hits, 16 doubles, and eight home runs. They will be joined by third baseman Alex Martinez, starting pitchers Jackson Short and Logan Clark, first baseman Cade Simpson, and outfielder Luke Sweeney.
Kentucky State (25-24, 15-11 SIAC) picked up three preseason selections in starting pitcher Solomon Reed and relief pitcher Michael Pedraza. The Thorobreds also return outfielder Collier Higgs, an all-conference selection from last season, who led the team in hits (62) and doubles (16) over 48 games.
Miles College Golden Bears (27-23, 19-10 SIAC) return two preseason selections after a strong run during last year’s championship tournament. The Golden Bears return Archie, a sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., who won the bases on balls per game category in Division II last season after earning 45 free passes in 44 games played. He tied with Kentucky State’s Jared Pierce for the honor and was one of just five players to average at least one walk per game this past season. Archie was an on-base machine for Miles, adding 38 hits and 12 hits by pitches. Starting pitcher Austin Douglas will round out Miles’ preseason selections.
Benedict collected one selection to round out this year’s preseason team in catcher Taj Bates.
Morehouse also collected one selection in catcher David Coleman II.
A complete listing of the 2023 Baseball Preseason All-SIAC Teams can be found below.
|2023 SIAC Baseball Preseason Team|
|Starting Pitcher||Jeremiah Reddell*||Albany State||Sophomore||Albany, GA|
|Starting Pitcher||Jose Santiago*||Savannah State||Junior||North Lauderdale, FL|
|Starting Pitcher||Jared Showalter*||Savannah State||Senior||Huntingdon, PA|
|Starting Pitcher||Enrico Peele*||Savannah State||Senior||Lehigh Acres, FL|
|Catcher||Taj Bates||Benedict||Sophomore||St. Croix, Virgin Islands|
|First Base||Andrai Wright||Savannah State||Senior||Lorain, OH|
|Second Base||Champion Robbins||Savannah State||Junior||Conyers, GA|
|Short Stop||Norris McClure*||Spring Hill||Junior||Mandeville, LA|
|Third Base||Alex Martinez||Spring Hill||R-Senior||El Paso, TX|
|Outfield||Joe Smith*||Savannah State||Senior||Brunswick, GA|
|Outfield||Gage Ragona*||Spring Hill||Senior||Mobile, AL|
|Outfield||Collier Higgs*||Kentucky State||Junior||Owensboro, KY|
|Relief Pitcher||Rahmir Vaughn*||Savannah State||Junior||Stockbridge, GA|
|Designated Hitter||Michael Archie*||Miles||Sophomore||Birmingham, AL|
|Utility Player||Nathan Lloyd||Albany State||Senior||Oxford, AL|
|Starting Pitcher||Jackson Short*||Spring Hill||Senior||Trenton, GA|
|Starting Pitcher||Logan Clark*||Spring Hill||Grad Student||Cleveland, MS|
|Starting Pitcher||Solomon Reed||Kentucky State||Junior||Cincinnati, OH|
|Starting Pitcher||Austin Douglas||Miles||Senior||Childersburg, AL|
|Catcher||David Coleman II||Morehouse||Junior||Atlanta, GA|
|First Base||Cade Simpson||Spring Hill||R-Junior||New Orleans, LA|
|Second Base||Hill Corley||Albany State||Sophomore||Albany, GA|
|Short Stop||Gabriel Patxot*||Savannah State||Junior||Miami, FL|
|Third Base||Nathan Lloyd||Albany State||Senior||Oxford, AL|
|Outfield||Lavoisier Fisher*||Albany State||Junior||Suwanee, GA|
|Outfield||Luke Sweeney||Spring Hill||R-Junior||Hammond, LA|
|Outfield||Zane Ross||Albany State||Junior||Sydney, Australia|
|Relief Pitcher||Michael Pedraza||Kentucky State||Junior||Lexington, KY|
|Designated Hitter||Tucker Jordan||Albany State||Junior||Blountstown, FL|
|Utility Player||Jaden Oden||Savannah State||Junior||Hampton, GA|
*2022 SIAC All-Conference Honoree