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Baseball's First Ever 20/20 Season Earns Ryley Preece OVC Player of the Year


For the 10th time in program history, a member of the Morehead State baseball team has been named Player of the Year in the Ohio Valley Conference. Junior center fielder Ryley Preece became the first Eagle since Niko Hulsizer (2017) to take home the honor on Tuesday night at the OVC awards banquet.

Preece joins the aforementioned Hulsizer, along with Chris Robinson (2015), Lance Seasor (2005), Shawn Johnson (1985), Drew Hall (1984), Steve Heatherly (1983), Jody Hamilton (1979), Tinker Chapman (1976), and Ed Wallingford (1969) as the 10th member of the club of players who have won OVC Player of the Year in a Morehead State uniform.

On his way to the award, Preece forged his own path, creating a club at Morehead State where he is the only member. Preece became the first player in school history to post 20 HR and 20 SB in the same season, finishing with 21 in each category.

Preece posted five games with multiple home runs, including two three-homer games (3/21 vs. Ohio, 4/21 vs. Southeast Missouri), finishing one homer shy of the OVC home run crown in the regular season. He also hit the first inside-the-park home run by a Morehead State player since 2019 vs. SIUE.

He led the team in four-hit games with three, and finished third in multi-hit games with 19. His 53 RBI led the Eagles, driving in three runs five times and five runs three times, with a total of 15 multi-RBI games. The junior was tied for the team lead in both walks (45) and stolen bases (21), and crossed the plate a team-high 70 times.

In addition to his prowess at the plate and on the base paths, the junior from Paintsville, Ky., posted a .985 fielding percentage with just two errors in 137 chances. Preece started all but one game in centerfield for Morehead State. His lone start outside of center was at catcher, where he threw out the only runner that tried to steal against him vs. Marshall.

He has also been named to the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll twice (2021, 2022), proving to be an efficient student-athlete in all phases.

Preece and his teammates look to capture an OVC Tournament Championship this week, with the first game for the No. 1 seeded Eagles set for a 12:00 p.m. ET start on Thursday.

By: Hunter Hurst, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations