Baseball Trio Named to the All-Ping! Baseball Preseason Teams
The CoastalCarolinaUniversity baseball team had three players named to the All-Ping! Baseball Preseason Teams, the website announced recently. Junior David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Southern Alamance) was named a First Team outfielder, while senior Tommy Baldridge (FortMill, S.C./Fort Mill) and junior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) were named to the Second Team.Sappelt was named a Third Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and set a Coastal single-season record with 99 hits in 2007. He was named the Big South Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Big South outfielder. He ranked second on the squad and sixth in the Big South with a .359 batting average and was among the League leaders in slugging percentage (.580), runs batted in (50), doubles (17) and home runs (10). Sappelt led the Big South with 160 total bases and 276 at-bats. He also recorded a .410 on-base average and hit for the cycle against High Point, April 14. A two-time Big South Player of the Week selection, Sappelt batted .372 against Conference opponents (29-78) and belted five home runs with 18 RBI and a .744 slugging percentage in the 18 League games. He posted 29 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI performances, and also recorded a 16-game hitting streak Feb. 25-March 4. Sappelt was one hit away from tying the Big South single-season hits record. Sappelt joined Baldridge in being named the fourth best outfielder by the website CSTV.com earlier in the fall. He also was named a Louisville Slugger Third Team Preseason All-American in December.Baldridge led the Chanticleers with a .383 batting average to go along with 92 hits, 15 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 58 runs-batted-in during 2007. He had a .633 slugging percentage and a .465 on-base percentage. He finished fourth in the Big South in batting average, second in slugging percentage, third in on-base percentage, second in runs scored, third in hits, tied for first in RBI, third in home runs and third in total bases. Baldridge was named to the All-Big South First Team and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Big South Tournament, hitting .538 with seven runs scored in the four tournament games. He also was a First Team All-Region selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association and was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team member. Baldridge had 26 multi-hit and 16 multi-RBI performances and was 4-for-5 with two home runs in a win over Eastern Michigan March 17. He hit .380 with a .608 slugging percentage in Big South contests. This is his third preseason honor as he was named to the Wallace Award watch list and was a Louisville Slugger Second Team Preseason All-American.Gagg was the Big South Conference’s only 12-game winner in 2007 and had a League-best 12-2 mark. He started all 17 games and combined on three shutouts. He was second in ERA (2.57), fifth in strikeouts (84), fourth in opposing batting average (.245), first in batters struck out looking (32), tied for first in innings pitched (112.0) and tied for first in starts (17). In Big South action, Gagg was 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA, plus 35 strikeouts. He picked up the win at Nebraska May 5, striking out four in six innings and struck out six or more batters in five starts this season. Gagg also earned the win over VCU in the 2007 Myrtle Beach Regional, allowing only five hits in 7.1 innings. Gagg is the first Big South Pitcher of the Year recipient, as the award was added in 2007. He also was named to the Big South All-Tournament Team, the All-Myrtle Beach Regional Team, was a Second Team All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball and a Second Team All-Atlantic Region selection by the ABCA. Gagg was named to the Wallace Award watch list and was a Second Team Preseason All-America selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and by Louisville Slugger.Sappelt joins Vanderbilt’s Dominic de la Osa and Texas’ Kyle Russell on the First Team outfield. Coastal was picked 19th in the Ping! Baseball Preseason poll.Coastal opens the 2008 season Friday, Feb. 22 against Maryland at 4 p.m., in Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. The Chanticleers return 15 lettermen from last year’s 50-13 team that hosted the 2007 Myrtle Beach Regional.