Three University of Central Arkansas baseball players were named to the 2018 preseason All-Southland Conference baseball teams on Tuesday,.
Junior Hunter Strong was a first-team selection, while seniors Tyler Gray and Keaton Presley were second-team choices.
Strong, a junior first baseman from Sheridan, Ark., was UCA’s leading hitter last season with a .351 batting average, which ranked fourth in the SLC. Strong led the league in SLC games only with a .403 batting average. He finished with 47 runs batted in, a school-record and league-high 24 doubles, and had a .514 slugging percentage and a .433 on-base percentage. Strong was a first-team All-SLC selection after starting all 60 games for the Bears. He was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection with a 3.95 grade-point average.
Gray, a senior righthanded starting pitcher from Fort Smith Southside, was 6-6 with a 3.80 earned-run average last season, with a team-high 89 strikeouts in 87.2 innings. His strikeout total was fourth-best in UCA history and he had two games with 11 strikeouts. In his three seasons at UCA, Gray has 168 career strikeouts, which ranks eighth in school history, and had a 13-8 overall record with a 3.42 ERA. Gray was drafted in the 20th round by the Minnesota Twins after last season.
Presley, a senior outfielder from Springfield, Mo., hit .284 last season with 16 doubles, 4 triples and 4 home runs, along with a team-high 21 stolen bases, which was seventh best in UCA history. Presley was named to the 2017 SLC All-Tournament team after helping the Bears to the championship game for the third time in the past five seasons.
CBC signs track recruit
Cade Griffith of Conway High became the first runner to sign with Central Baptist College's new track team, in addition to cross country.
Griffith has had multiple top-20 finishes in cross country races over the entirety of his career. He has been on many mission trips and is a member of the National Honor Society and will graduate with honors in May.
CBC wrestlers compete in tri-match
William Freeman and Saleem McNair both came away with victories for Central Baptist College Monday in a tri-match with Oklahoma City University and Ouachita Baptist University at Reddin Fieldhouse.
Freeman’s win was in the OCU match and McNair’s against OBU. Freeman picked up a 6-5 decision in his 133-pound match against Coulton Parker. Michael Cunningham also won at 141 pounds by forfeit.
Against OBU, Jeffery Williams picked up a forfeit in the 125-pound category. McNair’s victory came in the first overtime, a 12-10 decision on a takedown 25 seconds into the OT.
CBC will be off until Feb. 17, when they travel to Belleville, Ill., for the American Midwest Conference Championship meet.
Volleyball player signs with CBC
Central Baptist College volleyball coach Shatel Gaines added another new member to her 2018 signing class recently in Bailee Crowe from Jonesboro Westside.
Crowe, a 5-10 middle blocker/right side hitter, will join the Mustangs in August. She was an all-state and all-conference selection and an honor graduate at Westside, along with serving as the student body president.