Crane named preseason pitcher of the year

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Troy Athletics

Troy starter Andrew Crane has been named the Sun Belt Preseason Pitcher of the Year, the league announced Wednesday. He and outfielder Brandon Lockridge were both selected to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team, as well.

Crane, a native of Pascagoula, Miss., receives the honor after being tabbed as the Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year, first team All-Sun Belt and second team ABCA All-South Central Region at the conclusion of the 2017 season.

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He set a school and conference record with 40 consecutive scoreless innings – not allowing a run from March 31 to May 26. He also finished fourth nationally and led the league with a 1.47 ERA, while ranking 22nd in the nation and third in the Sun Belt with a 0.96 WHIP.

Lockridge, a product of Pensacola, Fla., adds another all-conference selection to his resume as he was chosen to the All-Sun Belt First Team for his performances last season.

One of three Trojans to start in all 56 games of the season, he led the league in hits per game (1.48) and ranked second in hits with 83. He posted a team-high and conference fifth-best .344 batting average, and his 61 singles were the eighth-most in a single-season in Troy history.

The two-preseason all-conference players are the first Trojans to earn the honor since Marc Skinner and David Hall were selected in 2015. Crane is Troy’s first Preseason Player of the Year since Logan Pierce in 2013.

Troy was also picked to finish fourth in the East Division based on a league-wide coaches’ poll. The Trojans finished third in the East and sixth overall last season.