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Baseball Ranked No. 20 In Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. Rod Allen Named First-Team Preseason All-American
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 12/19/2001
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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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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