LAKEPOINT, Ga. – When the Lipscomb baseball team steps on the diamond in three short weeks to open the 2018 season, the Bisons will boast a pair of preseason All-ASUN Conference selections, which were announced by the league office Wednesday.
The duo includes junior third baseman Zeke Dodson and senior designated hitter Jake Perry.
“As a coach, any time your guys get honored you are excited for them, but let’s be clear there is a big difference between preseason and end of the year,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “These guys have to go out and prove they are worth the votes.”
Dodson, a second team All-ASUN member from a season ago, was the only third baseman selected to the team. The Tifton, Georgia product paced the Lipscomb offense last season with a .309 average and 64 hits.
He also added three home runs, 13 doubles, two triples and 37 RBI - which was tied for second most on the squad.
“Zeke will be counted on as a leader of our team, just like he has been the last two seasons,” Forehand said. “He will bat in the middle of the order and anchor third base for us. I expect him to take another leap forward and put together a big year for us.”
Against conference foes Dodson upped his production to a .333 clip with 19 RBI and a team high .433 on-base percentage. He will enter his third season in Music City riding a 10-game hit streak and a 15-game on-base streak.
Perry exploded onto the scene in his first season donning the Purple and Gold after transferring in from Maple Woods Community College. He was named to the All-ASUN second team as the designated hitter after belting seven home runs and 37 RBI.
“Jake is coming off a great season as our DH, but this year we will also rely on him to help us behind the plate,” Forehand said. “I am excited that he got this recognition and that other coaches around the league are taking notice.”
Seeing the lineup in 50 games, Perry slashed .279/.349/.464 while also chipping in 11 doubles, 21 walks and 25 runs. The Webster Groves, Missouri native posted 15 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI outings, including a career best 4-hit, 4-RBI day in a win at NJIT.
In addition to the all-conference team, the ASUN head coaches voted Lipscomb to finish sixth in the preseason poll, garnering 25 points.
“I think us being picked sixth is pretty accurate, that’s actually where I picked us,” Forehand said. “We have a lot to prove. These preseason rankings are based off of last year and the players that are coming back. We will come in with a less expectations than we had a year ago, but I am sure our guys expect us to be better than that.”
Stetson was chosen as the runaway favorite with 63 points and seven first-place votes, ahead of Florida Gulf Coast who got 55 and one.
For the seventh consecutive year, the ASUN took to social media to poll fans for the conference preseason superlative awards. After 1,870 votes were casted, senior shortstop Blake Thomas was the Fan-Voted Defensive Player of the Year with 330 votes.