Savannah State senior first baseman Charles Sikes was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year by conference coaches and sports information directors.
Sikes, a 2014 All-MEAC First Team selection, played and started in all 53 games last year. He led the conference in home runs (10) and was tied for third in runs batted in (41). Sikes batted .358 with 41 runs scored, 20 walks and 15 doubles last season. He ranked 31st nationally in slugging percentage (.592), 43rd in home runs per game (0.19) and 36th in RBIs per game (0.96).
In December 2014, the Hinesville, Georgia native was named to the 2015 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American team by Collegiate Baseball.
Along with Sikes, junior third baseman Zachary Brigham, was named to the MEAC Preseason First Team while junior outfielder Mendez Elder was named to the Second Team.
Last season, Brigham played in 52 games and batted .271. The Canton, Georgia native had 45 hits, 24 RBI, five doubles, two home runs and scored 13 runs.
Elder, an Atlanta, Georgia native, hit .288 and played in 42 contests. Elder collected 38 hits, drove in 19 runs and scored 26 times. He also had eight doubles, four homeruns and two triples.
As a team, Savannah State received 48 votes and is predicted to come in third place in the MEAC Southern Division, behind Bethune-Cookman (84) and Florida A&M (75). Rounding out the Southern Division are North Carolina Central (43) and North Carolina A&T (20).
Delaware State (66) was voted to win the Northern Division followed by Norfolk State (56), Coppin State (35) and Maryland Eastern Shore (23).
Savannah State, who was 22-31 last season, is slated to begin the 2015 season on February 13 by hosting Alcorn State in a doubleheader at Tiger Field at 1 p.m.
Carlton Hardy is beginning his 10th season as head coach of the Tigers and 17th overall season as a collegiate head coach. Hardy has a .503 winning percentage at SSU.
Hardy needs 14 more wins to reach 400 wins for his career and 17 more wins to reach 250 career wins while at Savannah State.