FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU junior right-hander Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) has been named Perfect Game’s Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year and was placed on the Preseason All-Conference team, announced by the media outlet on Thursday. Perfect Game projected the Green and Blue to finish second this year behind Mercer.
Knapp, who became the third Eagle in the last five years to win A-Sun Pitcher of the Year in 2012, finished with nine wins and an ERA of 2.34, which ranked 55th nationally. Knapp set single-season program records in innings pitched (111.1) and complete-game shutouts (3). He ranked second in the A-Sun in ERA and innings pitched while his nine wins were a league-high. At one point during the season, Knapp held a streak of 21.1 scoreless innings pitched.
The Eagles return eight positional starters and two weekend starting pitchers from last year's club that won 26 games and finished third at the A-Sun Tournament. FGCU won five of its last six games to advance to the postseason last year, including a three-game sweep at Stetson. The Green and Blue tied for first in the A-Sun coaches poll with each receiving 81 total votes.
The Blue and Green will get the 2013 season underway on Feb. 15 in Sarasota, Fla. when they take on BIG EAST foe St. John’s as part of the Snowbird Baseball Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Fans can get updates and information on FGCU baseball all season long by visiting www.FGCUATHLETICS.com or by following the team on twitter @FGCU_Baseball.
Atlantic Sun Preseason Awards
Player of the Year: Nick Backlund, Mercer
Pitcher of the Year: Ricky Knapp, FGCU
Top Freshman: Corbin Olmstead, North Florida
Top Transfer: Bo Way, Kennesaw State
A-Sun Preseason All-Conference Team
C – Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State
1B – Nick Backlund, Mercer
2B – Joe Wielbruda, UNF
3B – Chesney Young, Mercer
SS – Evan Boyd, Mercer
OF - Tyler Marincov, UNF
OF - Derrick Workman, Mercer
OF - Gaither Bumgardner, USC Upstate
DH – Brad Celment, Northern Kentucky
UTIL – Clinton Freeman, ETSU
SP – Ricky Knapp, FGCU
SP – Josh Cotham, Lipscomb
SP – Tyler Moore – UNF
RP – Chad Sobotka, USC Upstate
2013 Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll
3. Kennesaw State
4. USC Upstate
5. North Florida
9. Northern Kentucky