Sun Devil Baseball Ranked 6th In <I>Collegiate Baseball's</I> Preseason Poll

Dec. 21, 2000

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Led by two players on Collegiate Baseball's preseason All-American team, the Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team cracked the 2001 college baseball polls with a No. 6 national ranking.

The Sun Devils finished the 2000 season with a 44-15 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in school history and finished the year ranked 12th. The nucleus of the team returns with the entire infield intact, including 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year Casey Myers. Myers (Case Grande, Ariz.) and ace left-handed pitcher Jon Switzer (Houston, Texas) were both honored by being named to Collegiate Baseball's preseason All-American team.

The No. 6 preseason ranking is the second highest for the Sun Devils during head coach Pat Murphy's six-year tenure. ASU was ranked No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball to open the 1998 season and went on finish second at the College World Series in Omaha. The Sun Devils have finished the season ranked in the top 12 in three of the past four years.

Arizona State, who finished just three points shy of the top 5, is one of three Pac-10 schools ranked in the poll, with No. 2 USC and No. 11 Stanford also earning votes. The Sun Devils possess one of the toughest schedules in the nation, with 15 games against teams ranked in the preseason top 25. ASU will match up against defending national champions LSU (#3), Cal State Fullerton (#12), Oklahoma (#15), and Tennessee (#25) during the 2001 season, in addition to Pac-10 foes USC and Stanford.

Myers, who hit .412 in 2000 with 97 RBI and 18 home runs while earning numerous All-American awards, returns for his senior year in Tempe after recording one of the most productive offensive years in ASU baseball history. The senior catcher was also named the National Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and was the Academic All-American of the Year. Myers was also a first-team preseason All-American as announced by the NCBWA.

Switzer was a third-team All-American a year ago after going 11-3 with a 3.89 ERA. The junior southpaw is slated as the opening day starter for the Devils and is looking to capitalize after a successful summer with Team USA.

Arizona State begins practice for the 2001 season Jan. 2 and will open the season Jan. 26 with a three-game series by hosting Texas-Arlington at Packard Stadium.



Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's


NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 20, 2000)


www.baseballnews.com

Rank School ('00 Final Record)

Points

Final '00 Rank

1. Georgia Tech (50-16)

478

10

2. Southern California (44-20)

477

5

3. Louisiana St. (52-17)

473

1

4. Nebraska (51-17)

469

11

5. Clemson (51-18)

465

6

6. Arizona St. (44-15)

462

12

7. Rice (43-23)

460

26

8. Florida St. (53-19)

456

3

9. Miami, Fla. (41-19-1)

455

14

10. South Carolina (56-10)

453

9

11. Stanford (50-16)

449

2

12. Cal. St. Fullerton (38-21)

446

22

13. Florida (44-23-1)

442

17

14. Notre Dame (46-18)

439

NR

15. Oklahoma (41-23)

437

NR

16. Georgia (32-26)

433

NR

17. Baylor (45-17)

430

18

18. Auburn (41-20)

429

25

19. Central Florida (43-19)

425

30

20. Stetson (48-16)

424

23

21. Mississippi St. (41-20)

420

15

22. Long Beach St. (31-25)

418

NR

23. Evansville (41-22)

415

NR

24. Alabama (41-24)

411

27

25. Tennessee (40-23)

409

NR

26. Texas (46-21)

406

7

27. The Citadel (39-20)

404

NR

28. Wake Forest (41-20-1)

399

20

29. Wichita St. (44-21)

397

28

30. East Carolina (46-18)

394

29

31. Florida International (42-20)

390

NR

32. Southern Miss. (32-26)

387

NR

33. Tulane (38-22-1)

383

NR

34. Texas A&M (23-35)

380

NR

35. Oklahoma St. (36-22)

379

NR

36. Fresno St. (40-21)

375

NR

37. Pepperdine (36-23)

370

NR

38. Virginia Tech. (34-25-2)

367

NR

39. Minnesota (38-24)

364

NR

40. Penn State (45-19)

360

19


First Team Pre-Season All-Americans
LHP Lenny Dinardo, Stetson (16-1, 1.90 ERA, 132 SO, 27 BB)
RHP Kip Bouknight, South Carolina (17-1, 2.81 ERA, 143 SO, 34 BB)
RHP Aaron Heilman, Notre Dame (10-2, 3.21 ERA, 118 SO, 29 BB)
RHP Shane Komine, Nebraska (11-4, 2.24 ERA, 159 SO, 31 BB)
RHP Rik Currier, Southern California (15-3, 3.31 ERA, 141 SO, 56 BB)
RHP Dewon Brazelton, Middle Tenn. St. (7-3, 4.83 ERA, 98 SO, 28 BB)
Relief - Zane Carlson, Baylor (15 SV, 2.28 ERA, 46 SO, 21 BB)
C - Casey Myers, Arizona St. (Outstanding defense, .412, 18 HR, 19 2B, 97 RBI)
1B - Todd Faulkner, Auburn (.423, 22 HR, 27 2B, 103 RBI)
2B - Chris Burke, Tennessee (.401, 26 2B, 55 RBI, 56 SB)
SS - Bobby Crosby, Long Beach St. (Great defense, .348, 10 HR, 12 2B, 16 SB)
3B - Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech (.427, 18 HR, 21 2B, 80 RBI)
OF - Gabe Gross, Auburn (.430, 13 HR, 26 2B, 86 RBI)
OF - Frank Corr, Stetson (.431, 34 2B, 18 HR, 98 RBI)
OF - John-Ford Griffin, Florida St. (.403, 33 2B, 58 RBI)
OF - Jason Basil, Georgia Tech (.382, 15 HR, 25 2B, 83 RBI)
Utility - Dallas McPherson, The Citadel (.378, 18 2B, 55 RBI, 8-1 as pitcher, 3.07 ERA)


Second Team Pre-Season All-Americans
RHP Mark Prior, Southern California
RHP Josh Karp, UCLA
RHP Kenny Baugh, Rice
LHP Jon Switzer, Arizona St.
RHP Preston Larrison, Evansville
RHP Steve Kelly, Georgia Tech
RHP Bob Brownlie, Rutgers
Relief Nick Glaser, Clemson
C Brooks Vogel, Dayton
C Bryan Prince, Georgia Tech
1B Philip Hartig, The Citadel
2B Mike Fontenot, Louisiana St.
SS Steve Holm, Oral Roberts
SS Seth Davidson, Southern California
3B Taggert Bozied, San Francisco
OF Todd Linden, Louisiana St.
OF Brian Stavisky, Notre Dame
OF Karl Nonemaker, Vanderbilt
OF Donny Sevieri, New Mexico
UT Ryan Stegall, Missouri


Third Team Pre-Season All-Americans
RHP Rhett Parrott, Georgia Tech
RHP Jon Skaggs, Rice
RHP Blair Varnes, Florida St.
RHP Ben Keiter, Wichita St.
LHP Ryan Gordon, N.C. Greensboro
RHP Dan Haren, Pepperdine
RHP Darrell Rasner, Nevada
LHP Brian Walker, Miami (Fla.)
RHP Rich McGuire, Delaware
LHP Adam Wynegar, James Madison
RHP Peterson Benjamin, Florida Atlantic
Relief Kirk Saarloos, Cal. St. Fullerton
Relief Adam Larson, Mississippi St.
Relief Josh Brey, Liberty
C Kelly Shoppach, Baylor
C Ryan Budde, Oklahoma St.
C Rock Mills, Pepperdine
1B Ryan Howard, S.W. Missouri St.
1B Pat Hollander, Lehigh
1B Ryan Brunner, Northern Iowa
2B Richard Lewis, Georgia Tech
2B Andrew Salvo, Delaware
2B Keith Lillash, Cleveland St.
SS Jeff Keppinger, Georgia
SS Jeremy Kurella, Central Florida
SS Drew Meyer, South Carolina
SS Tim Merritt, South Alabama
SS Eric Arnold, Rice
3B Kevin Howard, Miami (Fla.)
3B Joe Drapeau, Maine
3B Jake Gautreau, Tulane
OF Patrick Boyd, Clemson

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