DALLAS – Redshirt senior outfielder Zack Davis has been selected to Conference USA’s Preseason All-Conference Team by the league’s 12 head coaches, the conference announced on Wednesday.
“While I don’t put a lot of stock in pre-season predictions, we are happy for Zack to be recognized by the other coaches and SIDs in our league as the outstanding player that he is,” said coach Brian Shoop. “We are so blessed to have both Davis brothers in our program, and they both will play a huge role on our team.”
Davis led the Blazers at the plate in nearly every category a season ago, batting .330 with 62 hits, 15 doubles, three triples, eight homeruns and 48 RBI for a .569 slugging percentage. Outside the batter’s box, the Kearny, Mo., native swiped five bags and finished with a .978 fielding percentage.
Standout performances for Davis throughout the season include going 4-for-5 with a double and a pair of RBI in an 11-8 win over Radford. The four hits were a career high and marked the most hits by a Blazer in a game since 2017. The big bat also went a perfect 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI against SIUE and went 2-for-3 with a homerun to drive in a career-high four runs in a 9-5 win over Charlotte last year.
“If Zack can stay healthy this year and stay on the field, he is capable of big things,” Shoop said. “He will play an outstanding right field, will hit in the middle of our line-up and also has great leadership qualities that are so important to our team. I love Zack and expect him to have a great year.”
In the projected order of team finishes, Conference USA head coaches slotted UAB to land in eighth place at the conclusion of the season. The placement comes after nearly missing the conference tournament with a ninth-place finish last season, despite winning nine of the final 13 games including wins over Auburn and Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles were selected to finish atop the conference in the upcoming season after claiming the conference crown a year ago.
“I actually believe we have several players that could in the end make our all-conference team. We have quite a few that I wouldn’t trade for any other player in our league,” said Shoop. “It is because of that and the character of our team that I fully expect this team to surprise a lot of the prognosticators out there who may have underestimated this team.”
UAB returns 20 players, including regular starters at six positions in the field, with 16 newcomers heading into the 2020 season. The Blazers are slated to open the year with a home series against Notre Dame Feb. 14-16. The first two games will be played at Regions Field with the series finale being held at Young Memorial Field.
The 2020 UAB Baseball schedule features 34 home games, including 23 at Regions Field. UAB will also host three SEC opponents in Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State. The Tigers and Bulldogs are each a year removed from advancing into the 2019 College World Series.