ISLANDER BASEBALL PLAYERS RECEIVE HONORS, PRESEASON POLL RELEASED

A pair of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball players were recognized recently and the Southland Conference released its annual preseason poll.

Stephen Flora was named the South Texas Collegiate Player of the Year by the Corpus Christi Hooks and will be recognized by club at the Fifth Annual South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Solomon Ortiz Center. He has also been named to the Southland Conference Preseason First-Team in baseball.

Last year's Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, Flora led the Islanders and was second in the Southland Conference in hitting with a .380 average. He was named the collegebaseballinsider.com's National Player of the Week in May after posting back-to-back 4-hit performances against Central Arkansas and was a second-team all-SLC selection. This past December he was one of 209 players named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch list and was one of the five from the league selected.

Sophomore Trey Hernandez was also recognized by the Southland Conference being named to the second team at first base. He finished his rookie campaign with a .339 average and led the Islanders with 10 home runs and 56 RBI. Hernandez had a .589 slugging percentage and .432 on-base percentage.

The league office also announced the 2009 preseason baseball polls. Two-time defending regular-season champion UTSA was picked to finish first in both the Coaches Poll and the Sports Information Directors poll. The Islanders were picked eighth, where they finished a season ago and became the first No. 8 seed to win a game in the Southland Conference Tournament.

The Islander baseball team opens the 2009 season on Friday, February 20 with a three-game set at New Mexico. The team opens its home schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 24 with a non-conference game with UTSA at Whataburger Field.