ATLANTA -- With the start of the college baseball season less than 40 days away, Georgia State's ace pitcher Hunter Gaddis was recognized by Collegiate Baseball newspaper as Sun Belt Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Gaddis, the 6-6 junior right-hander, has established himself as one of the top starting pitchers in the Sun Belt Conference and the nation in his first two seasons, posting a career record of 13-8 with a 3.28 ERA.

In 2018 he was named All-Sun Belt Conference, Sun Belt All-Tournament and two-time Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week as he compiled a 9-4 record. He ranked second in the league in strikeouts (98) and third in ERA (2.95) while logging 100.2 innings.

The Canton, Ga., native finished the 2018 season with a dominating performance vs. Little Rock in the Sun Belt tourney, despite pitching on short rest. He took a no-hitter with a career-high 12 strikeouts into the eighth inning before allowing a single up the middle with two outs in the eighth. That marked the second time in two seasons that Gaddis has taken a no-hitter into the eighth inning.

Combined with his relief outing on the final day of the regular season, for his last nine innings of 2018, Gaddis allowed zero runs on one hit with 16 strikeouts.

In the summer of 2018, he pitched for the Cape Cod League’s Chatham Anglers, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.00 ERA.

Collegiate Baseball also cited senior starting pitcher Jake Rogers (4-6, 4.92) and senior outfielder-pitcher Brandon Bell (.333, 5 HR, 26 RBI) among its Players to Watch in the Sun Belt.

Opening Day for the 2019 season is Friday, Feb. 15, when the Panthers host Richmond in the first game of the annual Atlanta Challenge at the GSU Baseball Complex.