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ALBANY STATE NOTEBOOK: Baseball star Smalls, softball star Marks earn preseason conference honors

ASU baseball star William Smalls

ASU baseball star William Smalls

ATLANTA — Two Albany State University Rams have been named to the 2012 Preseason Baseball All-Conference Team, which was selected by the conference’s coaches. Highlighting the 2012 First Team is ASU senior third baseman William Smalls. Catcher Rickey Harris was named to the Second Team.

Last season, Decatur native Smalls, the Rams’ starting shortstop, led the conference with nine home runs and 56 runs batted in, while ranking second with a .718 slugging percentage. The 2011 conference Player of the Year also led with 69 hits and tied for the league lead with 17 doubles, while batting .406 from the plate. Smalls also finished with a .500 on-base percentage while helping lead the Rams to a 10-5 record in conference, 27-23 overall, and berth in the conference championship game.

Harris, the Rams’ catcher, batted in 43 runs, including five home runs for the Rams. The sophomore from Fayetteville recorded 50 hits and scored 30 runs.

Claflin University led the preseason team with five total selections, including three first-team selections, followed by 2011 champ Stillman College with four total selections.

The Rams will open the season Friday on the road in a two-day, three-game series against Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Rams will make their home debut Feb. 17 in a doubleheader against Selma University. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Rams Park.


ASU’s Marks named to preseason all-conference team:

ATLANTA — Albany State’s Chaconna Marks was named Wednesday to the 2012 Preseason All-Conference Softball Team, which was selected by the conference’s coaches.

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ASU softball star Chaconna Marks

A catcher, Marks was named to the First Team.

A Covington native, Marks led the Lady Rams with 11 home runs and 60 RBI. She batted .422 with a team-leading 70 hits and scored 44 runs for the Lady Rams. Marks was also a 2011 postseason First Teamer.

Marks and the Lady Rams will open their 2012 season with four back-to-back home games in February. The Lady Rams will make their season debut against the University of West Georgia Lady Wolves on Feb. 6 at Lady Rams Park.