June 8, 2000
Paced by six student-athletes playing on five of the eight teams in the 2000 NCAA World Series at Omaha, the 14th annual All-America college baseball team as voted upon by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers was released Wednesday.
All 12 finalists for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy (sponsored by the Greater St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with BASEBALL AMERICA and with balloting by NCBWA members), which will be presented to the Division I Baseball Player of the Year Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Omaha on Saturday, June 10, in the Historic Lobby Room are members of this prestigious group. These youngsters include Kip Bouknight, P, South Carolina, Brad Cresse, C, LSU, Lenny DiNardo, P, Stetson, Ben Diggins, P-DH-UT, Arizona, Todd Faulkner, 1B, Auburn, Darren Fenster, SS, Rutgers, Mitch Jones, OF, Arizona State, Shane Komine, P, Nebraska, Casey Myers, C, Arizona State, Cory Scott, P, East Carolina, Mark Teixeira, 3B, Georgia Tech, Justin Wayne, P, Stanford.
World Series participant LSU landed Howser Trophy finalist Cresse (national home runs reader with 30) on the first unit while Arizona State, runnerup in the NCAA Tempe Regional to CWS hopeful Texas, had both catcher (voted as a utility player) Casey Myers and outfielder Mitch Jones (the No. 2 home run hitter in NCAA Division I with 27 behind Cresse) on the No. 1 unit.
Texas, making its way to Omaha for a NCAA-record 28th time and for the first time since 1993 (its first trip under Longhorns' fourth-year coach Augie Garrido), also placed relief ace Charlie Thames (school-record 19 saves) on the first team while Stanford in the CWS field had standout starter Justin Wayne on the second unit. Southern California pitching standout Rik Currier was named to the third unit after posting a 14-3 record prior to the CWS.
Numerous surprise showings such as OF Mike Campo of Penn State's 41-game hitting streak and a sterling 17-1 record (most wins in nation) by NCAA Columbia Super Regional runner-up South Carolina Kip Bouknight made the 2000 entry quite a bit different from several preseason All-America editions selected by leading national baseball news agencies.
Starting pitchers Lenny DiNardo of Stetson, Shane Komine of Nebraska and Bouknight combined for a 44-8 pitching mark with 443 strikeouts in 402 innings pitched while East Carolina first team A-A relief standout Cory Scott and Texas' Thames had 41 saves between them in 73 pitching appearances in 2000.
The first team position and utility players were among the elite hitters nationally with five youngsters hitting .400 or better, four possessing 20-plus home runs in a season where pitchers seemed to gain the upper hand, especially in NCAA playoffs, and came from all areas of the country. Among the three-team selections, there are 28 schools and 11 conferences represented.
Some of the notable repeat performers from the 1999 NCBWA All-America units include Cresse (second team in 1999, first in 2000), Georgia Tech third baseman Mark Teixeira (first unit in 2000), Jason Young (second team in '00) of Stanford, California 3B Xavier Nady (third team in 2000), utility man Taggert Bozied (third team) of San Francisco, and pitcher Kenny Baugh (third team) of Rice.
1999 Dick Howser Trophy winner and consensus national Player of the Year Jason Jennings of Baylor was a first round draft selection of the Colorado Rockies and has enjoyed solid success in the minor leagues as he nears completion of almost one year in the pro ranks. He led the 1999 NCBWA All-America team and capped his career by winning the prestigious 1999 Golden Spikes Award as Amateur Baseball Player of the Year.
The NCBWA's pre-2000 All-America team marked the first venture into selection of a preseason college all-star team by NCBWA, and the group (which began its association with the Dick Howser Trophy in 1999) plans to continue selecting pre- and postseason All-America squads in upcoming years.
2000 NCBWA ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
1B Todd Faulkner, Auburn 2B Chase Utley, UCLA 3B Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech SS Darren Fenster, Rutgers C Brad Cresse, LSU OF Mike Campo, Penn State OF Gabe Gross, Auburn OF Mitch Jones, Arizona State UT/ATH Jeff Bajenaru, Oklahoma (tie) Casey Myers, Ariz. State
SP Kip Bouknight, So. Carolina SP Lenny DiNardo, Stetson SP Shane Komine, Nebraska RP Cory Scott, East Carolina RP Charlie Thames, Texas
Second Team 1B Patrick Hollander, Lehigh 2B Richard Lewis, Ga. Tech 3B Kevin Youkilis, Cincinnati SS Tim Hummel, Old Dominion C Jarrod Bitter, Houston OF Frank Corr, Stetson OF Tyrell Godwin, North Carolina OF Bill Scott, UCLA UT/ATH Ben Diggins, Arizona (tie) Carlos Gautreaux, Oklahoma State
SP Jared Berkowitz, Tulane SP Kyle Crowell, Houston SP Justin Wayne, Stanford RP Derrick DePriest, No. Carolina RP Hans Smith, Fresno State