Liberty Flames first baseman Aaron Grijalva and outfielder Phillip Laurent have been named to Baseball America's All-Big South team, while the two were joined by pitcher Michael Solbach on the preseason All-Big South team by the website SoutheasternBaseball.com, the publication and the website announced recently. Grijalva also was also selected by SoutheasternBaseball.com as its Preseason Big South Hitter of the Year.
Grijalva, a redshirt sophomore, was named to both preseason All-Big South teams, while also being selected the Preseason Big South Hitter of the Year by SEBaseball.com. The Redlands, Calif. native garnered Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors from the Collegiate Baseball News in 2005 and has been named a 2006 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American. Starting all 55 games in his first collegiate season, Grijalva finished ranked among the Big South Conference leaders in nine of ten offensive categories including batting average (.367), slugging percentage (.624), on base percentage (.450), runs scored (55), hits (77), doubles (13), triples (4), home runs (11), and total bases (131).
Laurent, a senior, also was selected to both All-Big South squads. Last season, the leftfielder earned first team All-Big South honors after hitting .333 with seven home runs, 30 RBI and 46 runs scored in 55 starts. The Cantrall, Ill. native led the Flames with four or more hits in a game three times in 2005 including a 4-for-4 with a RBI and four runs scored in Liberty's 8-7 win over Birmingham-Southern on May 25 in the Big South Championship.
Solbach, a redshirt sophomore, was named as a starting pitcher on the preseason All-Big South as selected by SoutheasternBaseball.com. In 2005, the right-hander went 8-4 with a 3.98 ERA over a team-leading 106 1/3 innings. The Woodbridge, Va. native pitched five complete games, the most by a freshman in program history, and had the first shutout by a Flames freshman since 1999 in a 3-0 victory over UNC Greensboro on April 16.
Both publications picked Liberty to finish fourth in the Big South standings.
The Flames open the 2006 season on Friday, Feb. 10 in Spartanburg, S.C. against Wofford. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
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