Thursday, January 23, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken’s Ty Barkell, Ryan Metzler and Caleb Smith have been named to the 2014 Peach Belt Conference preseason all-conference team, as voted on by the league’s head coaches and announced by the league office.
In all, 11 student-athletes were selected to the team representing six difference conference schools.
Barkell, a 6-3 junior first baseman from Denver, Colo., garnered ABCA/Rawlings Southeast Region Gold Glove Team honors a season ago. He was also a first-team all-conference selection, an NCAA Division II Baseball District Three first-team and PBC all-academic team honoree in 2013. Barkell was chosen to the Daktronics all-Southeast region and ABCA all-Southeast region second teams.
As a sophomore, Barkell started all 55 games for the Pacers, hitting .361 on the year. The 83 hits were tied for eighth-best nationally. He led the team with 10 round-trippers and 56 RBI. During the season, Barkell registered a 23-game hitting streak, tallied 24 multi-hit games and posted 15 multi-RBI games on the year.
Metzler, a 6-2 junior second baseman from Glen Burnie, Md., was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II all-Southeast region first team, the NCBWA all-Southeast region second team and the ABCA all-Southeast region second team during 2013.
As a sophomore, he was a first-team all-conference selection. Metzler started all 55 games and posted a .357 average. He also registered seven home runs, scored 48 runs and drove in 46. Metzler ended the season with 24 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI contests.
Smith, a 6-3 redshirt-sophomore hurler from Aiken, S.C., had a solid season for the Pacers in 2013. He appeared in 25 games, tossing 24.2 innings. Smith posted a 1.82 ERA, giving up just five earned runs on the season. He had a save and sported a 1-1 mark while limiting opponents to a .179 batting average. Smith struck out 38 batters on the season.