Luke Ritter named to preseason all-conference team

PROVIDENCE, R. I. (WSU) – Senior infielder Luke Ritter was named preseason all-conference, and the Wichita State University baseball team was picked to finish seventh in the 2019 American Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll, the conference office announced on Thursday, Dec. 27.

A native of Overland Park, Kan., Ritter led Wichita State with a .341 batting average and tied for the team lead with 76 hits in 2018. He added 12 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 31 RBI, 24 walks and six stolen bases during his junior campaign, and was voted first team all-conference in The American.

Ritter, who was drafted in the 37th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins, played in 55 of WSU's 57 contests last season, including 54 starts.

Entering their second season in The American, the Shockers received 23 points in the preseason poll. Reigning conference tournament champion ECU was picked first in the poll, compiling 60 points and six first-place votes, while 2018 conference regular season champion Houston was tabbed second with 55 points and two first-place votes. UConn was voted third with 52 points and received the final first-place vote, rounding out the top-three.

UCF (44 points), USF (35 points), Tulane (30 points), Wichita State, Cincinnati (16 points) and Memphis (nine points), rounded out the poll.

Wichita State is scheduled to open the season with four games in the Angels College Classic in Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 15-17.

2019 American Athletic Conference Preseason Baseball Poll

Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. ECU (6) 60
2. Houston (2) 55
3. UConn (1) 52
4. UCF 44
5. USF 35
6. Tulane 30
7. Wichita State 23
8. Cincinnati 16
9. Memphis 9
2019 Preseason All-Conference Team
Pos. Name 2018 Statistics
P Chris Williams* - UCF 4-3, 2.81 ERA, 93.0 IP, 79 K
P Mason Feole* - UConn 9-2, 2.50 ERA, 100.2 IP, 120 K
P Jake Agnos - ECU 4-4, 4.10 ERA, 63.2 IP, 86 K
P Tyler Smith - ECU 7-1, 1.78 ERA, 60.2 IP, 34 K
RP Jake Wallace - UConn 1-0, 3.95 ERA, 3 SV, 43.1 IP, 63 K
C Jake Washer - ECU .287, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 10 2B, 1 3B, .436 SLG
1B Joe Genord - USF .306, 16 HR, 53 RBI, 11 2B, .633 SLG, 114 TB
2B Luke Ritter - Wichita State .341, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 12 2B, 1 3B, 76 H, 108 TB, .484 SLG
SS Anthony Prato* - UConn .320, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 11 2B, 2 3B, 18 SB, 78 H, .406 SLG
3B Jared Triolo* - Houston .344, 85 H, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 11 2B, 1 3B, 17 SB, .457 SLG
OF Ray Alejo - UCF .299, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 14 2B, 3 3B, 34 SB
OF Bryant Packard - ECU .406, 89 H, 14 HR, 24 RBI, 16 2B, .671 SLG, 50 RBI
OF Kyle Phillips - USF .333, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 13 2B, .477 SLG
DH Joe Davis* - Houston .318, 77 H, 18 2B, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 134 TB, .554 SLG
Preseason Player of the Year
OF Bryant Packard - ECU .406, 89 H, 14 HR, 24 RBI, 16 2B, .671 SLG, 50 RBI

Preseason Pitcher of the Year
LHP Mason Feole* - UConn 9-2, 2.50 ERA, 100.2 IP, 120 K

* unanimous selection