Baseball Ranked No. 20 In Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. Rod Allen Named First-Team Preseason All-American

Dec. 19, 2001

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team got its first look at where they are predicted to finish in 2002, ranking 20th in Collegiate Baseball's annual preseason college baseball poll. In addition to the preseason top 20 ranking, sophomore outfielder Rod Allen was named a first-team preseason All-American.

With only 43 days remaining until the start of the 2002 college baseball season, the Sun Devils are eagerly anticipating a season that is sure to bring its fare share of challenges. With one of the toughest schedules in the nation ahead of them and facing the loss of seven starters and three of their top four pitchers from 2001, the Devils are sure to have an uphill battle in 2002. ASU finished the 2001 season with a 37-20-1 overall record, ranking 22nd and 23rd in the nation.

The Devils will face eight teams listed on Collegiate Baseball's Preseason Top 40, including three teams listed in the top five (#1 Stanford, #2 Florida State, #4 USC). ASU will also face No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Cal State Fullerton, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 31 Oral Roberts and No. 38 California.

Allen, a sophomore outfielder from Phoenix, earned first-team preseason All-America honors after putting up amazing numbers during his freshman season. Named a consensus Freshman All-American last year, Allen set the ASU freshman batting record with a .389 mark, clubbing six home runs and tabbing 53 RBI. A 2001 All-Pac-10 selection, Allen also had a banner year in the Alaskan Summer League, leading the league in stolen bases with 24 and helping lead the Anchorage Glacier Pilots to the NBC World Series Championship. Sophomore right-hander Mike Esposito (Las Vegas) just missed making the preseason All-American team, but is listed by Baseball America as the No. 8 college prospect heading into the 2002 season.

The Sun Devils, who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in four of the past five seasons and played for the National Championship in 1998, will officially open the 2002 campaign Jan. 31 in a non-conference game vs. Oregon State as part of the inaugural Bill Kajikawa Baseball Classic. ASU's 2002 schedule includes 12 games against teams that participated in the 2001 College World Series (Tennessee, Cal State Fullerton, USC, Stanford) and 22 of the club's 55 scheduled contests (40%) are versus teams that qualified for the 2001 NCAA Tournament. ASU will also match-up against perennial national powers Florida State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame during the 2002 season in non-conference action. ASU will play 32 of its scheduled 35 home games this season at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz., due to the renovation of Packard Stadium. Hohokam Park is the Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs.



Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's


NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 20, 2001)


www.baseballnews.com

Rank School ('01 Final Record)

Points

Final '01 Rank

1. Stanford (51-17)

497

2

2. Florida St. (47-19)

495

9

3. Tulane (56-13)

491

6

4. Southern California (45-19)

489

5

5. Louisiana St. (44-22-1)

486

10

6. Clemson (41-22)

484

13

7. Miami, Fla. (53-12)

480

1

8. South Carolina (49-20)

477

15

9. Wichita St. (42-24)

475

NR

10. Oklahoma St. (42-22)

472

NR

11. Fresno St. (41-25)

468

NR

12. Rice (47-20)

466

16

13. Nebraska (50-16)

462

7

14. Mississippi (39-23-1)

459

NR

15. Texas (36-26)

458

28

16. Wake Forest (44-18)

456

18

17. Cal. St. Fullerton (48-18)

453

3

18. Baylor (37-24)

451

22

19. Notre Dame (49-13-1)

447

12

20. Arizona St. (37-20-1)

445

23

21. Florida (35-27)

442

NR

22. Georgia Tech. (41-20)

441

27

23. Mississippi St. (39-24)

437

14

24. Ohio St. (43-18)

433

NR

25. Rutgers (42-17)

430

25

26. Texas Tech. (43-20-1)

425

21

27. Purdue (32-24)

423

NR

28. Ball St. (34-23)

420

NR

29. East Carolina (47-13)

416

11

30. Texas A&M (33-27)

413

NR

31. Oral Roberts (48-13)

409

NR

32. Georgia Southern (42-20)

407

NR

33. Cal. St. Northridge (34-22)

403

NR

34. Louisiana-Lafayette (28-28)

399

NR

35. Nevada-Reno (30-26)

395

NR

36. Winthrop (48-16)

394

29

37. Long Beach St. (35-23)

390

NR

38. California (34-25)

387

NR

39. Stetson (43-17)

383

NR

40. Central Florida (51-14)

382

17

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