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Furman Baseball Picked Seventh, Eighth In Pair Of SoCon Polls; Muzika Earns Preseason Tab

Will Muzika
Will Muzika

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's baseball team has been picked to finish seventh and eighth in a pair of Southern Conference preseason polls of head coaches and media, the league announced today.

In addition, Paladin senior Will Muzika was named to the coaches preseason All-SoCon second team as an outfielder.

Furman returns 23 lettermen, six position starters, and two of its three weekend starting pitchers off last year's squad, which posted a 28-31 record and eighth place SoCon finish.

Muzika, a Spartanburg native and former Dorman High School standout, hit .284 with three home runs and 33 RBI a year ago, serving primarily as the Paladins' starting second baseman before making a late season move to the outfield.  A three-year starter, he was the league's freshman of the year in 2010 and is a career .295 hitter with 22 home runs and 117 RBI.

The Paladins open the season next Friday, Feb. 15 against Michigan State in a 5:00 p.m. game at Fluor Field in downtown Greenville, part of the First Pitch Invitational.

Furman and the Greenville Drive, the single A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, will host this year's SoCon Tournament (May 22-15) at Fluor Field.

2013 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll
Place    Team (1st-place votes)               Points
    1.    Elon (5)    93
    2.    Western Carolina (3)    88
    3.    College of Charleston (3)    87
    4.    Samford    65
    5.    Georgia Southern    64
    6.    Appalachian State    61
    7.    FURMAN    42
    8.    The Citadel    39
    9.    UNCG    37
10.    Wofford    16
11.    Davidson    13
2013 Preseason Southern Conference Media Poll
Place    Team (1st-place votes)               Points
    1.    College of Charleston (10)    195
    2.    Elon (4)    185
    3.    Samford (3)    152
    4.    Appalachian State (1)    143
    5.    Georgia Southern    142
    6.    Western Carolina    139
    7.    The Citadel    87
    8.    FURMAN    74
    9.    UNCG    73
    10.    Wofford    41
    11.    Davidson    23

2013 Preseason All-Southern Conference
Preseason Player of the Year
Phillip Ervin, Jr., OF, Samford
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Matt Pegler, Sr., RHP, College of Charleston
First Team
SP     Matt Pegler, College of Charleston
SP     Dylan Clark, Elon
RP     Preston Hatcher, Western Carolina
C       Alex Swim, Elon
1B     Ryan Kinsella, Elon
2B     Hector Crespo, Appalachian State
SS     Will Callaway, Appalachian State
3B     Trevor Edwards, UNCG
OF     Tyler Zupcic, Appalachian State
OF     Brandon Murray, College of Charleston
OF     Phillip Ervin, Samford
DH    C.K. Irby, Samford
Second Team
SP     C.K. Irby, Samford
SP     Brandon Yarusi, Wofford
RP     Nate Young, Elon
C       Chase Griffin, Georgia Southern
1B     Tyler White, Western Carolina
2B     Zeth Stone, Samford
SS     Aaron Attaway, Western Carolina
3B     Bradley Goodson, College of Charleston
OF     Will Muzika, Furman
OF     Scooter Williams, Georgia Southern
OF     Julian Ridings, Western Carolina
DH    Jacob Hoyle, Western Carolina