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The Sideline: UCA pitchers on All-SLC preseason team and spring soccer schedule for UCA men

Posted: January 29, 2014 - 6:27pm

2 UCA pitchers make SLC teams

Two University of Central Arkansas pitchers were named Wednesday to the 2014 All- Southland Conference preseason baseball team.

Senior righthander Bryce Biggerstaff was a first-team selection and sophomore right-hander Connor Gilmore was a second-team choice.

The Bears, the reigning SLC Tournament champions, were picked fifth in the sports information directors’ preseason poll and sixth by the league’s coaches, out of 12 teams. UCA received one first-place vote from the sports information directors.

Biggerstaff, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Central Arkansas Christian, finished with a 6-5 overall record and a 3.01 earned-run average last season. He struck out 60 and walked 19 over 107.2 innings. Biggerstaff threw just the second no-hitter in school history, blanking Jackson State 13-0, a team that would eventually qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Gilmore, a 6-5, 190-pounder from Little Rock Catholic, went 5-0 in 12 appearances and was one of UCA’s postseason pitching stars, helping the Bears to their first NCAA Regional. Gilmore shut out Southeastern Louisiana 4-0 in the championship game of the SLC Tournament, allowing just two hits. He came back with a four-hit shutout victory over South Alabama in an elimination game at the Starkville Regional.

The Bears, who won a school-record 42 games last season and won their first SLC Tournament title, lost 10 seniors and a junior who was selected in the Major League Baseball Draft from last year’s squad.

Sam Houston State was picked to win the league in both preseason polls.

COACHES POLL:

1. Sam Houston State (10) 120

T2. Lamar (1) 95

T2. Southeastern Louisiana (1) 95

4. Oral Roberts 93

5. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 91

6. Central Arkansas 82

7. Stephen F. Austin 61

8. Nicholls 43

9. Northwestern State 37

10. McNeese State 35

11. Houston Baptist 27

12. New Orleans 13

SPORTS INFORMATION

DIRECTORS POLL:

1. Sam Houston State (8) 117

2. Southeastern Louisiana (2) 100

3. Oral Roberts 95

4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1) 94

5. Central Arkansas (1) 83

6. Lamar 78

7. Stephen F. Austin 65

8. McNeese State 46

9. Nicholls 41

10. Northwestern State 34

11. Houston Baptist 26

12. New Orleans 13

Bears set spring soccer schedule

The University of Central Arkansas men’s soccer team will host seven matches this spring at the Bill Stephens Soccer Complex, as well as a single match at Burns Park in North Little Rock.

Central Arkansas will begin the spring with matches against Northeastern State (Okla.) and Christian Brothers on Feb. 22. The Bears will return to action on March 1, again hosting three matches. Central Arkansas will play Memphis at noon, Memphis and Missouri State will square off at p.m., and Central Arkansas will close out the day at 4 p.m. against Missouri State.

On March 7, Central Arkansas will host in-state opponent Harding University at 6 p.m. They will play Central Baptist on March 14 and will have their alumni match on April 5.

Central Arkansas will wrap up its spring slate on April 12, hosting Iowa Western at Burns Park in North Little Rock.

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