THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2009
Baseball selected fifth in A-Sun preseason coaches poll
Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan
Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan
Despite missing the postseason for the first time since 2005, the JU baseball team has been picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Sun Conference according to the 2009 preseason coaches poll.

Kennesaw State led the poll with 116 points, including six first place votes, while defending champion Lipscomb (three first place votes) and Florida Gulf Coast (one first place vote) tied for second with 95 points. Stetson ranked fourth with 94 points while JU (one first place vote) rounded out the top five with 76 points. Stetson and Lipscomb were each voted as tournament champion with five points apiece.

"It's nice to receive this selection in the poll due to the respect of our program and the accomplishments we have achieved in recent years," said JU head coach Terry Alexander, who enters the year six wins shy of 700 for his career. "But on the other hand, we are coming off a disappointing season and there are a lot of talented teams in this conference. As always, no one will know how things play out until the last week of the season.”

UNF (74), Belmont (50), Mercer (47), Belmont (72), Campbell (33), USC Upstate (30) and ETSU (16) made up the rest of the poll.

Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan was the lone representative for the Dolphins on the A-Sun preseason all-conference team. Stetson outfielder Jeremy Cruz was selected preseason "Player of the Year" while Kennesaw State junior starter Kyle Heckathorn was named preseason "Pitcher of the Year".

“Jeremy is certainly deserving of this selection after the tremendous season he had,” Alexander said. “He will be a big key to our success this season and also has been selected as team captain.”

Gillan, who was a transfer from Indian River CC, led the Dolphins in hits (83), doubles (10), home runs (9), RBI (60), total bases (120), slugging percentage (.545), sacrifice flies (6), multi-hit games (27), multi-RBI games (16) and fielding percentage (.987).

The Dolphins open the season with a three-game series at FIU beginning on Feb. 20 in Miami.