Moccasin outfielder Cody Burgess has been named to the Preseason South Region first-team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association while fellow outfielder Logan Browning and catcher Austin Mauer have been named to the second team. Florida Southern was the only school from the Sunshine State Conference to have three players named to the preseason teams. In addition, the Moccasins are ranked fifth in the NCBWA South Region Preseason Poll.
Burgess was named to the NCWBA All-South Honorable Mention squad in 2017 as well as the ABCA All-South Second-Team and All-SSC 1st Team. Starting 41 games in centerfield and 10 games at second base, Burgess was second on the team and sixth in the conference with 14 home runs as the Moccasins hit a school record 81 round-trippers last season. He also batted .327 on the season and stole 15 bases.
Browning, who is also a starting pitcher, was named to the D2CCA All-America and All-South 1st Teams, as well as the All-SSC 1st Team. He started 22 games in right field and 17 games as the Mocs' designated hitter and was second on the team with a .380 batting average. He also hit seven homers and led the team with 12 doubles. On the mound, Browning was 8-2 and was 14th in the NCAA Division II with 107 strikeouts. Following the season, he was a 37th round pick by the San Diego Padres in the Major League Draft.
Mauer was named to the NCBWA All-South and All-SSC 2nd Teams in 2017. He started 49 games, including 37 games behind the plate and 12 as the DH. He batted .327 with 44 runs batted in while scoring 32 runs. He was third on team and ninth in the conference with 13 home runs.
Head Coach Lance Niekro guided the Moccasins to a 35-17 overall record and a 12-12 mark in the SSC a year ago. The Moccasins capped the season with a trip to the NCAA postseason.
The 2018 campaign gets underway on Feb. 2-3 with a weekend three-game series at home at Henley Field against the University of West Florida.
2018 NCBWA Division II South Region Rankings: Preseason Poll (FPV)
1. Delta State (6)
2. Tampa (3)
3. Nova Southeastern
4. West Alabama
5. Florida Southern
6. West Georgia
7. West Florida
9. Florida Tech
10. Valdosta State
Others Receiving Votes: Rollins, Palm Beach Atlantic, Miles, Alabama Huntsville
2018 NCBWA Division II Preseason All-South Region First Team
SP Seth Birdsong, Delta State
SP Tyler Joyner, North Alabama
SP David Lebron, Tampa
RP Caleb Jakes, Rollins
C AJ Walden, Alabama Huntsville
1B Zack Shannon, Delta State
2B Nick Conti, Eckerd
3B Nolten Milton, Union
SS Pat Dorian, Lynn
OF Cody Burgess, Florida Southern
OF Clay Casey, Delta State
OF Dalton Murray, Valdosta State
DH Brian Lane, Delta State
UT Dylan Harris, Nova Southeastern
2018 NCBWA Division II Preseason All-South Region Second Team
SP Brad Case, Rollins
SP Hunter Jones, Valdosta State
SP Andy Marzheuser, Florida Tech
RP Joey Hennessey, Palm Beach Atlantic
C Austin Mauer, Florida Southern
1B David White Jr., Benedict
2B Emil Ellis, Delta State
3B Xavius Burden, Miles
SS Armando Valentin, Benedict
OF Logan Browning, Florida Southern
OF Andrew McCoy, Benedict
OF Daniel Szpik, Florida Tech
DH Luke Phillips, West Alabama
UT Kyle Hubbuch, North Alabama