Release from The American
PROVIDENCE – UConn baseball standouts Blake Davey, Bobby Melley and Max McDowell have been named to the 2015 American Athletic Conference Preseason All-Conference Team, the league announced on Monday (Dec. 22). In addition, the Huskies were tabbed to finish fourth in the league in a poll of the eight conference coaches.
Each of the three UConn honorees was named to the All-Conference First Team at the conclusion of last season. Davey and Melley both also received First Team laurels on the 2014 ABCA All-Northeast Region squad and NEIBA All-New England team, with Melley taking home 2014 NEIBA New England Player of the Year.
Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) earns the preseason nod after batting .313 in his first season in Storrs in 2014, overall holding a .313/.452/.512 slash line. The senior transfer led the Huskies with 10 home runs last season, becoming the first UConn player to crack double-digit long balls since Houston Astros outfielder George Springer donned a Husky uniform in 2011. Davey added 10 doubles, eight stolen bases and 30 walks to his ledger and scored 48 runs, fifth in the league.
For McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.), the preseason accolade comes after the junior catcher posted a .275/.376/.352 slash line in 2014, adding 11 extra-base hits and 34 RBIs on the year. He led the Huskies with a .409 batting average with runners in scoring position and finished third in The American with 19 base runners caught stealing.
Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) led The American and was among the national leaders with a .359 batting average in 2014, getting on base at a top-25 nationally .475 clip. His .502 slugging percentage was top-five in the American as were his 16 doubles, 75 hits and 47 RBIs. The junior first baseman held a stellar .986 fielding percentage in 2014 and was part of 40 double plays, third in the conference. Melley’s 2014 season came off an end to 2013 which saw him named to the All-Regional Team at the NCAA Blacksburg Regional.
The Huskies were picked to finish fourth in the league behind defending American Championship victors Houston, UCF (which finished second in the regular season standings in 2014) and league newcomer and perennial NCAA Tournament contender East Carolina. UConn begins the 2015 campaign looking for its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in six seasons on Feb. 13 at Florida Atlantic.
Preseason Poll (First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Houston (6)
2. UCF (2)
3. East Carolina
Preseason Player of the Year
Ian Happ, Jr., OF, Cincinnati
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Jimmy Herget, Jr., USF
Preseason All-Conference Team
P – Zach Rodgers, Sr., UCF
P – Jimmy Herget, Jr., USF
P – Aaron Garza, Sr., Houston
P – Andrew Lantrip, So., Houston
P – Jake Lemoine, Jr., Houston
RP – Jared Robinson, Sr., Houston
C – Max McDowell, Jr., UConn
1B – Bobby Melley, Jr., UConn
2B – Dylan Moore, Sr., UCF
3B – Connor Hollis, So., Houston
SS – Kyle Teaf, Jr., USF
OF – Ian Happ, Jr., Cincinnati
OF – Blake Davey, Sr., UConn
OF – Kyle Survance, Jr., Houston
DH – Matt Diorio, So., UCF