Bearcats Picked to Finish Eighth in American Athletic Conference|
Dec. 23, 2013
CINCINNATI – The American Athletic Conference announced its 2014 preseason coaches’ poll and all-conference team on Monday, as voted on by the league’s nine head coaches. The University of Cincinnati baseball team was picked to finish eighth in the league while sophomore Ian Happ (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) was named to the preseason All-American Athletic Conference team.
The Bearcats will usher in a new era with first-year head coach Ty Neal at the helm. Neal finished the 2013 season as the recruiting coordinator at Indiana University and coached the Hoosiers to their first-ever appearance in the College World Series last season.
“We are excited for the inaugural season of the competitive American Athletic Conference” said Neal. “We accept the challenge of being picked to finish at the bottom of the conference race. Our guys know we are in for a dogfight and they will be ready.”
Cincinnati garnered 18 points in the poll and sits ahead of Temple University (8 points).
Happ, a 2013 NCBWA freshman All-American, was selected as one of four outfielders to the league’s preseason team. He finished his freshman campaign in 2013 with a team-leading 41 runs scores, 13 doubles, six homeruns and 47 walks. He recorded a team-high .322 batting average, .483 slugging percentage and a .451 on-base percentage. His 47 walks led the conference while he ranked fifth with 25 stolen bases.
The sophomore enters the 2014 season with momentum after being named an all-star in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League during the summer.
UC will play its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference, which includes nine teams. Joining the Bearcats in the league are Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, Temple, UCF and USF.
2014 Preseason American Athletic Conference Baseball Coaches’ Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) Points
Preseason American Athletic Conference Player of the Year
Preseason American Athletic Conference Pitchers of the Year:
2014 Preseason All-Conference Team
* - unanimous selection