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