Ryan Clark Named College Sports Madness Preseason SoCon Freshman of the Year
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG infielder/pitcher Ryan Clark (Johnson City, N.Y./Johnson City) has been named the 2013 Southern Conference preseason Freshman of the Year by College Sports Madness. Senior outfielder Zach Leach (Herndon, Va./Herndon) was also tabbed a Second-Team selection.
Clark starred for Johnson City Senior High School under head coach Dave Buchak and earned a spot on the varsity squad as an eighth grader. He was named All-Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) and set a school record as a sophomore with a .556 batting average while also recording an on base percentage of .600. Clark helped lead his team to a STAC division title, despite missing time due to an ankle injury. He also produced the highest batting average for the Wildcats all five seasons of his prep career.
During his senior campaign, Clark paced Johnson City to a 15-6 record – including a 10-2 STAC mark. The Wildcats advanced to the Section 4 finals after a 6-0 win over Owego Free Academy.
Leach appeared in 48 games for UNCG last season, making 38 starts in left field. He posted a team second-best .315 batting average with 52 hits in 165 at bats and scored 29 runs while also tallying eight doubles, four triples and a pair of home runs. Leach put together a team season-long 18-game hitting streak from March 28 to April 28 in addition to producing 15 multiple-hit and three multiple-RBI efforts.
The then junior delivered a season-best three hits in the win over North Carolina A&T at NewBridge Bank Park and clubbed a pair of home runs on the way to a career-high six RBI in a 13-1 sweep-clinching win over Delaware State at the UNCG Baseball Stadium Feb. 18. Leach was fairly effective when batting with two outs as he was 15-for-46 with 14 RBI. He also hit .317 with runners in scoring position (19-for-60).
The Spartans open the 2013 season Feb. 15, welcoming Army to the UNCG Baseball Stadium for a three-game series.
Keep up to date with the UNCG baseball team all season by logging on to www.uncgspartans.com and following the Spartans' official twitter feed @uncgsports.
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