Charleston Southern centerfielder Bobby Ison has been named the 2014 Big South Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league's coaches, the conference announced on Tuesday.
Ison, a Goose Creek native and Stratford High School product, led the Big South in hits during his sophomore season in starting all 56 games in center for the Buccaneers. He was the national leader as the toughest player to strikeout for much of the season and finished the season ranked sixth-nationally in the category.
"I'm very proud of Bobby and he is very deserving of this recognition," CSU head coach Stuart Lake. "He has put in the hard work in every aspect of being a student-athlete to reach this point. On the field, he's the prototypical leadoff man and centerfielder. He's the table-setter at the top of our order and has done so by making himself one of the toughest outs in college baseball."
Ison was named First-Team All-Big South following his sophomore season in which he piled up a league-leading 84 hits and 111 total bases, which was third in the Big South. The junior was fourth in the league in batting average at .367 and ninth in doubles with 14. He also had 27 RBI and three home runs. He also struck out only 11 times in 250 plate appearances.
In the classroom, Ison carries a 3.0 GPA as a communications major.
Ison received five first-place votes to finish with 24 points, ahead of Ashton Perritt of Liberty, who notched four top bids and 20 points. Campbell's Ryan Thompson was named the Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Liberty is the preseason favorite to win the North Division with Coastal Carolina earning the plaudit for the South Division.
The Flames received six first-place votes to garner 62 points from the panel to finish ahead ofCampbell, who notched six top bids and 59 points. Radford was picked third with 51 points and High Point landed at the No. 4 spot with 38 points. Longwood's 28 points was good for fifth, while VMI rounded out the North Division with 14 points.
Coastal Carolina was a unanimous selection to win the South Division as it received all 12 first-place votes and 72 points. Gardner-Webb placed second with 56 points and Charleston Southern came in at No. 3 with 45 points. Winthrop found itself at No. 4 with 34 points, ahead of Presbyterian College's 26 points. UNC Asheville closed out the voting in the South Division with 19 points.
The Big South baseball season begins on Friday, Feb. 14 with 11 teams in action. The 2014 Big South Baseball Championship is slated for Tuesday-Saturday, May 20-24 at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C.