Bishop Named to Sun Belt Preseason Team

Blue Raiders Picked Fifth

February 12, 2008 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Junior Rawley Bishop has been named to the Preseason team and Middle Tennessee's baseball team has been picked to finish fifth in the Sun Belt this season in a poll of the league's coaches release on Tuesday.

In 2007, Bishop received Second Team All-Sun Belt honors and was named to the Sun Belt Championships All-Tournament team. Bishop ended the season with 17 home runs, 15 doubles, 65 RBIs and batted .329.

Bishop will guide the infield as new faces will be seen at second base and short stop with the graduation of Wayne Kendrick and Matt Ray.

"Rawley is very deserving. I think the numbers he put up last year that he definitely is a guy who is targeted for preseason all-league selections," head coach Steve Peterson said. "Thankfully he is the type of person that he does not live in the past. He's more concerned about today, tomorrow and the future season. I think it is a very deserving honor and the coaches were right on with their selections."

The Blue Raiders finished tied for second in 2007 in league play and had a strong showing in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

"Middle is in the middle. I can very well see why we are there. We don't have a bulk of returning pitchers that are coming back who are battle tested. Obviously our history shows we are always competing at the upper level of the league especially in the tournament," Peterson said.

On the mound, senior Brad Robinson will lead a young pitching staff as the Blue Raiders have a lot of untested talent. Robinson is the returning Friday night starter from a year ago. In 2007, he posted a 4.00 ERA with an 8-2 record in 16 appearances.

Louisiana-Lafayette was picked first in a unanimous vote by the coaches followed by New Orleans in second.

"Obviously it was unanimous with Lafayette. They have a lot of great returning pitchers which is what any good baseball guy looks at. New Orleans has a group of pitchers and hitters returning that they are definitely in contention," Peterson said.

The Blue Raiders will have another week of team practice before opening day on Feb. 22. Middle Tennessee will travel to Jacksonville, Ala., to open the 2008 season on Friday, Feb. 22 against Jacksonville State at 3 p.m.

Preseason Coaches Poll (First place votes in parenthesis)

School, Points

Louisiana-Lafayette (11), 121

New Orleans, 107

Troy, 94

Florida Atlantic, 81

Middle Tennessee, 74

South Alabama, 69

WKU, 56

Louisiana-Monroe, 45

Florida International, 36

Arkansas State, 28

UALR, 15

Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team

Danny Farquhar (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., SP)

Hunter Moody (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., SP)

Mike Obradovich (Florida Atlantic, Sr., RP)

Chris LaGrow (South Alabama, So., RP)

David Doss (South Alabama, Jr., C)

Rawley Bishop (Middle Tennessee, Jr., 1B)

Johnny Giavotella (New Orleans, Jr., 2B)

Terrence Dayleg (WKU, Jr., SS)

T.J. Baxter (New Orleans, Sr., 3B)

Mike McKenna (Florida Atlantic, Sr., OF)

Nolan Gisclair (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OF)

Clint Toomey (South Alabama, Sr., OF)

Scott Hawkins (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., DH)

Preseason Player of the Year

Johnny Giavotella (New Orleans, Jr., 2B)

Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Danny Farquhar (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., SP)

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