Sanchez Named Preseason All-Southland Conference
Jan. 29, 2014
FRISCO, Texas - The Southland Conference announced its annual preseason all-conference teams and polls Wednesday morning, with senior Ricardo Sanchez named to the first team and the Stephen F. Austin baseball team tabbed to finish seventh in both the coaches' and sports information directors polls.
Sanchez was an automatic selection after turning in a second-team All-SLC campaign in 2013. The native of Houston, Texas (Milby HS), is SFA's top returning hitter after recording a .358 batting average last season. Sanchez also returns as the team leader in hits (63), home runs (three), slugging percentage (.455), on-base percentage (.415) and stolen bases (seven).
Returning players who earned first- and second-team all-conference honors following the 2013 season automatically receive preseason honors. Third-team postseason selections move into vacated positions on the first and second preseason teams. The league's head coaches voted the remaining spots on.
The `Jacks were picked seventh in the SLC, just one year after making the conference tournament for a fifth-straight season under head coach Johnny Cardenas. The 2013 campaign was highlighted by the stellar play of shortstop Hunter Dozier and was capped off with him becoming the first player in program history to be taken in the first round of the MLB draft when he was selected eighth overall by the Kansas City Royals.
Sam Houston State was picked to win the league in both polls, with the second-, third- and fourth-place teams separated by less than six points. Southeastern Louisiana was selected second in both polls and tied with Lamar in the coaches' poll. Oral Roberts was selected fourth by the coaches, with the SLU-LU tie, and third by the SIDs. Following the Golden Eagles in both polls was Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and then Central Arkansas.
Nicholls was picked eighth by the coaches and ninth by the SIDs. McNeese State was tabbed 10th by the coaches and eighth according to the SIDs, and Northwestern State was slated ninth by the coaches and 10th by the SIDs.
Conference newcomers Houston Baptist and New Orleans were 11th and 12th, respectively, to round out both polls.
Since both Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word will not play a full slate of league games in their first year of transition into Division I, they were not eligible to be picked in the preseason polls. Additionally, neither team is eligible for postseason play until the 2018 season.
SFA will open its season on Feb. 14 when it takes on Texas-Arlington in the UTA Invitational.
2014 Preseason All-Southland Conference Baseball Teams
*Returning all-conference selection
2014 Preseason All-Southland Conference Baseball Polls