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Bat Govs consensus preseason favorite in OVC

APSUs baseball team is the consensus preseason favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference in 2005. The Govs were picked first by the OVC Coaches Poll, released today. Earlier, the Govs were picked by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
APSU's baseball team is the consensus preseason favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference in 2005. The Govs were picked first by the OVC Coaches Poll, released today. Earlier, the Govs were picked by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

Austin Peay junior left-handed pitcher Rowdy Hardy has earned much of the preseason accolades, being named the 2005 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American Second Team, as selected by Collegiate Baseball. He also was named the Preseason Conference Player of the Year by Baseball America. He is one of only eight returning Division I players who won 12 or more games last season.

Also earning preseason honors from the two publications were senior third baseman Jared Walker and senior shortstop Matt Ledbetter. Walker was named a Preseason Co-Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. He also was named to the Preseason All-Conference Team by Baseball America. Ledbetter was a preseason all-conference selection by both publications. The Ohio Valley Conference coaches do not select a preseason all-conference squad.

APSU opens the 2005 season with a three-game series at Birmingham-Southern, Feb. 18-20. The home slate begins with three games over three days, starting Feb. 25.
—Cody Bush