Cleveland of Trojans Baseball Named Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department

LITTLE ROCK – UALR senior right-handed pitcher Chance Cleveland has been named the 2013 Preseason Pitcher of the Year by a poll of the Sun Belt Conference coaches, the conference announced Monday.

Cleveland, a First Team All-Sun Belt and Second Team ABCA All-South Central Region selection as a junior, compiled a 9-4 record over 14 starts acting as the foundation for the Trojan’s pitching staff. His nine wins tied the school record for single-season wins, while his 98 strikeouts were good enough for second place on UALR’s all-time single-season list.

A closer at Crowder College, Cleveland made the transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation look relatively easy. Dubbed as the Trojan’s Friday night starter, Cleveland reeled off four consecutive wins to start his 2012 campaign. Over that span, Cleveland posted a 1.02 ERA, recorded 29 strikeouts and only issued five walks.

Cleveland was equally impressive in Sun-Belt action as he led all Sun Belt pitchers with 69 strikeouts over 64.2 innings of work, including a season-high 12 in a 5-3 win over Troy on March 23. Cleveland also held opposing Sun Belt hitters to a .257 batting average.

Cleveland ended his 2012 season tied for first in the SBC in wins, second in strikeouts and sixth in innings pitched. Cleveland joins Florida Atlantic’s Austin Gomber, Florida International’s Michael Ellis, and Middle Tennessee’s Johnathan Frebis as Preseason First-Team All-Sun Belt pitchers.

UALR will open its 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 when they host the Evansville Purple Aces. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from Gary Hogan Field.

Below is a full list of the preseason honors:

2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team

Chance Cleveland (UALR, Senior, RHP)

Austin Gomber (Florida Atlantic, Sophomore, LHP)

Michael Ellis (FIU, Junior, RHP)

Johnathan Frebis (Middle Tennessee, Sophomore, LHP)

Nate Hill (Troy, Senior, LHP)

Aramis Garcia (FIU, Sophomore, Catcher)

Mark Nelson (Florida Atlantic, Senior, 1B)

Logan Kirkland (South Alabama, Sophomore, 2B

Dustin Jones (Arkansas State, Junior, SS)

Logan Pierce (Troy, Senior, 3B)

Logan Uxa (Arkansas State, Senior, OF)

Trent Miller (Middle Tennessee, Junior, OF)

Danny Collins (Troy, Junior, OF)

Whitt Dorsey (South Alabama, Senior, DH)

Jordan Patterson (South Alabama, Junior, UTIL)

2013 Preseason Player of the Year

Logan Pierce (Troy, Senior, 3B)

2013 Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Chance Cleveland (UALR, Senior, RHP)

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