A.J. Kirby-Jones named preseason All-American honors from Ping!Baseball

A.J. Kirby-Jones named preseason All-American honors from Ping!Baseball

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech junior A.J. Kirby-Jones has been named a preseason All-American by Ping!Baseball for the upcoming 2010 baseball season. In two years as a Golden Eagle, Kirby-Jones has had a standout career at first base and on the mound for Tech, including a record-setting season in 2009.

Kirby-Jones was a second-team All-Ohio Valley Conference pick last season and MVP of the 2009 OVC Tournament. He started all 56 games in 2009, filling roles at first base, designated hitter, starter and reliever. At the plate, Kirby-Jones tied the Tech record for most home runs in a season, leading the OVC with 20. He batted .325 with 15 doubles and posted a .706 slugging percentage with 68 RBIs. He walked 42 times, including eight intentional walks and was third in the OVC in both RBIs and total bases.

On the mound, he appeared in 18 games including four as a starter and 14 in relief spots. He posted a 3-3 record with a 5.51 earned run average, with 52 strikeouts in 49 innings.

“AJ is just a special young man first and foremost and a special baseball player as well,” Tennessee Tech head coach Matt Bragga said. “He is just a joy to coach. I know he’s really looking forward to going out with his teammates and having a great season.”

Kirby-Jones earned the third-team spot as a utility player along with fellow OVC mate Richie Derbak from Eastern Illinois. A total of six OVC players earned All-American recognition from Ping!Baseball.

The Golden Eagles finished 31-24-1 in 2009 and captured the OVC tournament championship. Tech went on to eliminate No. 14 Alabama from the Clemson Regional in the NCAA tournament for the school’s first NCAA tournament win since 2001.

Tech is set to begin practice this month and will begin its 2010 schedule in the third week in February.