Tigers Ranked Sixth in Preseason Baseball Poll

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TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Texas has been ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s Fabulous 40 pre-season poll. The defending national champions, which rolled to a 56-16 overall record last season, return possibly the top pitching staff in the nation with six key pitchers back, three of whom are Louisville Slugger pre-season All-Americans.

The trio includes RHP Kyle McCulloch (12-4, 2.92 ERA, 99 K, 45 BB), RHP Adrian Alaniz (8-3, 2.67 ERA, 94 K, 39 BB) and RHP Kenn Kasparek (8-0, 2.10 ERA, 46 K, 31 BB).

Texas posted a perfect 5-0 record and registered a microscopic team ERA of 1.40 (seven runs allowed in five games) during last year’s College World Series which ranked as the fourth best ERA of a championship team since ERA records were calculated starting in 1953.

For possibly the first time in CWS history, two freshmen pitchers and a sophomore from the same team played pivotal roles in leading a team to the national title. Amazingly, 34.6 innings out of 45 were thrown by these young pitchers.

Texas is currently in the midst of the greatest run of championship finishes since Southern California won five national titles from 1970-1974 as the Longhorns have finished No. 1 in 2002, No. 3 in 2003, No. 2 in 2004 and No. 1 last season.

While four position player starters return, three are outfield starters which is good news for that area of the defense. The headliner among the group is All-American centerfielder Drew Stubbs who is expected to be a first round draft pick next June. He hit .311 with 11 homers, 20 doubles, 46 RBI and 32 SB.

"We should be able to pitch and play defense," said Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido. "We should also have a solid offense."
Garrido said that it will be extremely difficult for Texas to defend its national title of 2005. It has not been done since Louisiana St. won back-to-back titles in 1996 and 1997. Prior to that, Stanford won titles in 1987 and 1988.

"What makes it so tough is the mentality changes on the team. Everyone knows what to say after you win a national championship. But from my experience, player turnover is great after a national title. You don’t have the feeling among the players that you have to do what you did last year. There is more of a feeling with the new players that you want to get on this ride and get some of this.

"I see our transfers and freshmen playing a huge role in the success of our season in 2006. The upcoming season presents a lot of unknowns which excites me. We have a combination of quality returning players in key spots and a mix of talented newcomers. Now the question is how development takes place. If we grow and get better as the season goes along, we have a chance. How we deal with adversity will also be important because we will face that as well."

The "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's
NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 23, 2005)

Rank School (’05 Fi Record)     Pts Final ’05 Rank 
1. Texas (56-16) 		496  1 
2. Florida (48-23) 		492  2 
3. Oregon St. (46-12) 		490  7 
4. Nebraska (57-15) 		489  6 
5. Rice (45-19) 		487 16 
6. Clemson (43-23) 		484 13 
7. North Carolina (41-19-1) 	482 21 
8. Florida St. (53-20) 		479 15 
9. Cal. St. Fullerton (46-18) 	476  9 
10. Georgia Tech. (45-19) 	475 10 
11. Miami, Fla. (41-19-1) 	473 14 
12. Arizona St. (42-25) 	470  3 
13. Pepperdine (41-23) 		469 23 
14. Missouri (40-23) 		467 — 
15. Louisiana St. (40-22) 	466 19 
16. Long Beach St. (37-22) 	463 18 
17. South Carolina (41-23) 	461 26 
18. Florida Atlantic (37-24) 	459 — 
19. Tennessee (46-21) 		458  8 
20. Mississippi (48-20) 	456 11 
21. Southern California (41-22) 455 17 
22. Notre Dame (38-24-1) 	453 — 
23. Baylor (46-24) 		450  4 
24. Tulane (56-12) 		449  5 
25. Stanford (34-25) 		447 — 
26. Wichita St. (51-24) 	444 27 
27. Texas Christian (41-20) 	443 29 
28. Winthrop (44-22) 		440 — 
29. Oklahoma (35-26) 		438 — 
30. Southern Miss. (41-21) 	435 — 
31. Arizona (39-21) 		434 12 
32. Houston (29-30) 		430 — 
33. Arkansas (39-22) 		428 — 
34. Mississippi St. (42-22) 	427 — 
35. San Francisco (38-18) 	425 — 
36. San Diego (30-27-1) 	422 — 
37. Stetson (35-28) 		419 — 
38. Washington (33-22) 		415 — 
39. Georgia (30-25) 		413 — 
40. Fresno St. (30-29) 		409 — 

Other Teams Receiving Votes: Cal Poly SLO, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Auburn, California, UCLA, Ohio St., North Carolina St., Coastal Carolina, Louisville, U.C. Irvine, Virginia Commonwealth, Miami (Ohio), Oral Roberts, Central Florida, East Carolina, Central Michigan, Southern Illinois, Nevada-Las Vegas, San Diego St., Maine, Birmingham Southern, Jacksonville St., South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, Florida International, Loyola Marymouht, Army, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern, N.C. Charlotte, Richmond, Western Carolina, Northwestern St., Lamar, Southern.


TUCSON, Ariz. — The 2006 Louisville Slugger pre-season All-American baseball teams, selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, features a who’s who of NCAA Division I baseball players.

The pre-season pick as National Player of The Year is OF Shane Robinson of Florida St. Last season for the Seminoles, he hit .427 with 122 hits, 25 doubles, 57 walks and 49 stolen bases. If that wasn't enough, he put together a school record 40-game hitting streak. In addition, he was the first player in FSU history to record 100 hits and steal 40-plus bases in the same year. After his monster season of a year ago, he was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of The Year.

For complete statistics on each All-American, purchase the Jan. 6 issue of Collegiate Baseball newspaper.*

The three All-American teams include (with partial statistics from last season for first team members):

First Team Pre-Season All-Americans

RHP Dallas Buck, Oregon St. (12-1, 2.09 ERA, 118 K, 51 BB)

LHP Andrew Miller, North Carolina (8-4, 2.98 ERA, 104 K, 52 BB)

RHP Max Scherzer, Missouri (9-4, 1.86 ERA, 131 K, 41 BB)

RHP Joba Chamberlain, Nebraska (10-2, 2.81 ERA, 130 K, 33 BB)

RHP Kyle McCulloch, Texas (12-4, 2.92 ERA, 99 K, 45 BB)

RHP Ian Kennedy, Southern California (12-3, 2.54 ERA, 158 K, 38 BB)

Relief Brett Jensen, Nebraska (16 SV, 1.96 ERA, 46 K, 9 BB)

C Chad Tracy, Pepperdine (.367, 22 2B, 12 HR, 61 RBI)

1B Matt LaPorta, Florida (.328, 26 HR, 16 2B, 79 RBI)

2B Taylor Harbin, Clemson (.343, 28 2B, 10 HR, 63 RBI)

3B Wes Hodges, Georgia Tech. (.397, 18 2B, 9 HR, 51 RBI)

SS Jay Heafner, Davidson (.448, 18 2B, 11 HR, 58 RBI, 13 SB)

OF Shane Robinson, Florida St. (.427, 25 2B, 49 SB, 40-game hitting streak)

OF Drew Stubbs, Texas (.311, 20 2B, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 32 SB)

OF Nathan Southard, Tulane (.341, 24 2B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 16 SB)

DH Chris Carlson, New Mexico (.395, 24 2B, 15 HR, 79 RBI)

UT Joe Savery, Rice (.382, 17 2B, 8-5 pitching record, 2.43 ERA, 129 K, 37 BB)

Second Team Pre-Season All-Americans

RHP Mickey Storey, Florida Atlantic

LHP Nick Hill, Army

LHP Scott Reese, Creighton

RHP Luke Trubee, Dayton

RHP Johnny Dorn, Nebraska

RHP Jonah Nickerson, Oregon St.

RHP Adrian Alaniz, Texas

Relief Blair Erickson, U.C. Irvine

Relief Kevin Gunderson, Oregon St.

C Jeff Kunkel, Michigan

C J.P. Arencibia, Tennessee

1B Matt Rizzotti, Manhattan

1B Luke Hopkins, New Mexico St.

2B Jordan Pacheco, New Mexico

3B Chris Coghlan, Mississippi

SS Josh Rodriguez, Rice

OF Mark Wright, Mississippi

OF Jon Jay, Miami (Fla.)

OF John Raynor, N.C. Wilmington

UT Heath Rollins, Winthrop

Third Team Pre-Season All-Americans

RHP Kenn Kasparek, Texas

RHP Eddie Degerman, Rice

RHP Blake Wood, Georgia Tech.

LHP Clay Dirks, Louisiana St.

RHP Tim Lincecum, Washington

RHP Tim Bascom, Central Florida

LHP Keith Weiser, Miami (Ohio)

LHP James Adkins, Tennessee

RHP Daniel Bard, North Carolina

Relief Daniel Best, Southern Mississippi

Relief Tyler Chambliss, Florida St.

Relief Vinnie Pestano, Cal. St. Fullerton

Relief Darren O'Day, Florida

Relief Paul Koss, Southern California

C Jordan Newton, Western Kentucky

C Michael Ambort, Lamar

1B Justin Baum, Pacific

1B Aaron Bates, North Carolina St.

1B Mike Priest, Campbell

1B Aaron Grijalva, Liberty

1B Chris Johnson, Stetson

2B Jim Negrych, Pittsburgh

2B Chris Campbell, Charleston

2B Scott Sizemore, Va. Commonwealth

3B Evan Longoria, Long Beach St.

3B Brad Emaus, Tulane

3B Derek Schermerhorn, Wichita St.

3B Beau Mills, Fresno St.

3B Matt Poulk, N.C. Wilmington

SS Mitch Hilligoss, Purdue

SS Chuck Hargis, East Tennessee St.

OF Brennan Boesch, California

OF Mike McBryde, Florida Atlantic

OF Shane Byrne, East Tennessee St.

OF Jeremy Jones, North Carolina A&T

UT Matt Wieters, Georgia Tech.

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