BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – With the start of the 2019 baseball season just a week away, Belmont has garnered preseason Ohio Valley Conference recognition with senior Casey Queener (Brentwood, Tenn.) being named to the 2019 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Team the league announced Friday. The predicted order of finish was also released with Belmont tabbed to finish seventh.
Last season, Queener had a breakout year on the bump as a regular weekend starter. Being the most dependable force on the mound for the Bruins, Queener earned a team-high 14 appearances a year ago. He struck out a team-high 96 batters in 85.1 innings of work. En route to his team-high four wins, opponents his just .239 against him for an ERA of 4.22. Queener had an incredible performance throwing his first career complete game last season, shutting out conference foe Austin Peay. In this career outing, Queener struck out a career-high 12 batters, scattered only three hits and walked just one earning him OVC Pitcher of the Week honors. Queener pitched the most innings of any OVC pitcher and struck out the third most during the 2018 regular season.
"I feel it's a well deseved honor for him," said head coach Dave Jarvis. "He has been a tremendous competitor on the mound for us and has done a great job these first three years in our uniform. I just couldn't be happier or excited for Casey to get this recognition.
Belmont will look to get back to the OVC Tournament this season with its six returning starters and 12 talented newcomers. Along with Queener, BU welcomes back sophomore Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) who promises to be an important force both on the mound and in the infield for the Bruins. Last season, Brennan netted a 2.83 ERA in 28 games and secured three saves.
Defending OVC Tournament Champions Morehead State was picked as the conference favorite. Tennessee Tech's Kevin Strohschein has been named OVC Preseason Player of the year while Austin Peay's Jacques Pucheu was tabbed the OVC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Morehead State led the way with four selections to the Preseason All-OVC Team with Jacksonville State right behind with three.
Baseball season is just a week away as the Bruins open their 2019 season with a series against Illinois State. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 at E.S. Rose Park.
Predicted Order of Finish
- Morehead State (11 first-place votes) – 182 points
- Jacksonville State (6) – 173 points
- Tennessee Tech (5) – 166 points
- Austin Peay – 143 points
- Southeast Missouri – 142 points
- Eastern Kentucky – 110 points
- Belmont – 88 points
- Eastern Illinois – 77 points
- Murray State – 51 points
- SIUE – 45 points
- UT Martin – 32 points
2019 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Team
Preseason OVC Player of the Year:Kevin Strohschein (OF/DH), Tennessee Tech
Preseason OVC Pitcher of the Year: Jacques Pucheu (LHP), Austin Peay
C - Nic Gadddis, Jacksonville State
1B – Parker Phillips, Austin Peay
1B – Trevor Snyder, Morehead State
2B – Jimmy Govern, Eastern Illinois
SS – Reid Leonard, Morehead State
3B – Cole Frederick, Jacksonville State
OF – Justin Dirden, Southeast Missouri
OF – Jordan Stoner, UT Martin
OF – Connor Pauly, Morehead State
DH – Kevin Strohschein, Tennessee Tech
UT – Nick Howie, Eastern Kentucky
SP – Tyler Jones, Eastern Illinois
SP – Garrett Farmer, Jacksonville State
SP – Jacques Pucheu, Austin Peay
SP – Casey Queener, Belmont
RP – Aaron Ochsenbein, Eastern Kentucky
RP – Cory Conway, Morehead State