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Hardin-Simmons Duo, Texas-Tyler’s Copeland, ETBU’s Cantrell Take ASC Baseball Preseason Player Awards
January 23, 2007

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Brad Coleman Dalton Rucker
Clay Copeland Andrew Cantrell

RICHARDSON, Texas –– The Hardin-Simmons University duo of third baseman Brad Coleman and left-handed pitcher Dalton Rucker, along with University of Texas at Tyler outfielder Clay Copeland and East Texas Baptist University right-handed pitcher Andrew Cantrell, have received 2007 American Southwest Conference baseball preseason player of the year honors after a vote of each division’s head coaches and sports information directors as well as selected media members, the conference office announced on Tuesday.

Coleman (Abilene, Texas), a senior, was named West Division Preseason Player of the Year, while Rucker (Amarillo, Texas), a junior, was tabbed West Division Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Coleman returns after an All-West Division First Team year in which he batted .376 – a division-high .486 average in conference play – with 39 RBI, 13 doubles and three home runs. Rucker earned the top pitching honor out of the West last season after going 8-3 with a 2.90 ERA for the 28-17 second-place Cowboys. He had 70 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings and won his last nine starts.

Copeland (White Oak, Texas), who earned the top preseason player award from the East Division, hit .422 with team-highs of 62 hits and 43 runs scored last season for the Patriots. This year’s lone senior honoree struck out just six times in 147 plate appearances on his way to being named to the 2006 All-East Division First Team. He also stole 15 bases.

Cantrell (Hilmar, California), named East Division Preseason Pitcher of the Year, put together a 9-2 season with a 3.38 ERA mostly out of the bullpen – two starts out of 19 appearances. He walked only 11 in 50 2/3 innings and was named Tri-Freshman of the Year from the East Division. His win total placed him in the top 10 nationally in NCAA Division III.

All four were American Baseball Coaches Association NCAA Division III All-West Region picks last season.

2007 ASC BASEBALL PRESEASON AWARDS

EAST DIVISION

  • Preseason Player of the Year
    Clay Copeland, OF, Sr., University of Texas at Tyler
  • Preseason Pitcher of the Year
    Andrew Cantrell, RHP, So. East Texas Baptist University

WEST DIVISION

  • Preseason Player of the Year
    Brad Coleman, 3B, Sr., Hardin-Simmons University
  • Preseason Pitcher of the Year
    Dalton Rucker, LHP, Jr., Hardin-Simmons University

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