JSU baseball picked to win OVC

Josie Howell, Sports Editor

The OVC head baseball coaches and communications directors gathered together to discuss the upcoming 2020 baseball season, and as a result, the JSU baseball team was picked No. 1 in the OVC preseason while also being chosen to win the 2020 OVC title.

In last year’s 2019 season, the Jacksonville State University baseball team claimed the Ohio Valley Conference championship for the fifth time in school history. The last time this happened was in the 2014 season.

While there were three different teams picked for the first-place vote, Jacksonville State earned 19 of the 22 first place votes with Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State receiving the other three votes.

Following Jacksonville State in first place is Eastern Kentucky in second, Austin Peay in third, Blemont in fourth and Morehead State for fifth. Following the top five are Murray State in sixth, Southeastern Missouri in seventh, Eastern Illinois in eighth, Tennessee Tech in ninth and UT Martin in tenth.

There were also three Gamecocks listed as preseason All-OVC players out of the 17 players that were selected. These players include senior Alex Webb, junior Cole Frederick and sophomore Isaiah Magwood.

In 2019, Alex Webb played in 61 games and started 36 of them as a catcher for the Gamecocks and in the designated hitters spot 22 times. Webb ranked second on the team in hits with 75, including 31 extra base hits. He also turned in a team-best 21 doubles and nine home runs. 

Webb became one of six Gamecocks to earn All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a member of the league’s first team as a designated hitter. He was named to the All-OVC Tournament Team after posting a .429 clip at the plate, including three doubles and five RBI in JSU’s three games in Marion, Illinois.

As a multi-position player at first base, second base and in different outfield positions, Fredrick played and started in all 61 games for the Gamecocks in the 2019 season. He also finished third on the club in batting average with a .287 average and ranked second on the team in total hits with 75. 

Fredrick also posted a slugging percentage of .441 and delivered 38 RBI, collected 24 extra base hits, including 14 doubles and six home runs and tallied four triples for the season. With a team-best of a .373 hitting clip in conference play, Fredrick was eventually named All-Ohio Valley Conference Second Team.

Magwood made his debut as a Gamecock in the 2019 season. He made 18 appearances in his first season on the collegiate level and tossed 55.2 innings and accumulated 64 strikeouts along with 30 earned runs. 

Magwood was named to the All-OVC Freshman Team at the end of the 2019 season. He turned in his best outing of the season against Austin Peay in the OVC Tournament on May 24 where he pitched a season-best 6.2 innings, scattered seven hits and allowed a pair of earned runs and finished with eight strikeouts with just one walk in the outing.

Jacksonville State will begin their 2020 season at home in the new Jim Case Stadium on Friday, February 14 at 3 p.m. against Southeastern Missouri.

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