STARKVILLE, Miss. (NCBWA) - While the Olympics and other
international baseball events dominated much of the 2008 baseball
scene, the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers
Association Pro-Line Athletic pre-2009 All-America Team features
many of the standouts from the various "dream" teams.
team pitcher Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State was prominent
on the mound staffs of both the U.S. Olympic team (composed mainly
of top professional baseball stalwarts) as well as the U.S. National
Team, which finished 24-0 and set a national team summer earned
run average of 1.87.
Fresno State first baseman Alan Ahmady of both the Bulldogs'
2008 NCAA-winning edition and Team USA earned second team All-America
laurels on teams loaded with the top projected collegiate talent
for '09. While pitching numbers reflect the depth and star power
of 2009 college competition, all three units are composed of teams
which could make runs at NCAA regional and national crowns.
There are 19 conferences and 43 different schools (most in the
nine-year annals of NCBWA preseason All-America choices) represented
among the selections by the NCBWA preseason All-America committee,
and, as the coaches often say, the difference may be pitching.
Besides Olympian Strasburg (8-3, 1.57 ERA, 133 SO in 97-plus
innings), standout returnee Chris Hernandez (11-0, 2.72 ERA, 117
SO in just over 112 frames) of Miami (Fla.)'s NCAA World Series
entry and Alex White (13-3, 2.83 ERA) from North Carolina's 2008
CWS squad join Oklahoma State's Tyler Lyons (12-2, 3.31 ERA), Missouri
State's Tim Clubb (11-0, 2.52 ERA) and Jacksonville State's (10-2,
3.87 ERA) as starters on the NCBWA initial dream team. Relief
standouts A.J. Griffin (1.96 ERA, 14 saves) of San Diego and Eric
Pettis (2.21 ERA, 17 saves) of UC Irvine compliment 2008 postseason
NCBWA second team All-America closer Scott Bittle (7-1, 1.78 ERA,
8 saves) of Mississippi in a splendid first team bullpen.
The remainder of the NCBWA top unit is composed of several returning
conference Players of the Year, youngsters who carried teams to
Omaha in '08 and a sound array of power hitters.
Indiana catcher Josh Phegley brings back a Big Ten Conference-topping
.438 batting average along with 15 homers and 80 RBI in 61 contests.
North Carolina 1B Dustin Ackley also sizzled with a .417 batting
average (tops among Atlantic Coast Conference returnees for '09),
116 hits, 21 doubles, seven homers, 51 RBI, and 19 stolen bases
in 25 attempts while batting in the leadoff spot (a rarity for first
sackers on any level). 2B Brandon Sizemore of College of Charleston
led all second basemen nationally in 2007 with 20 homers and 82
RBI and adds major wallop in the infield. Shortstop belongs to Miami
Hurricane Ryan Jackson with a .360 average and 50 RBI for the NCAA
World Series qualifier while the first team third baseman is Louisville's
Chris Dominguez with impressive .365-21 HR-75 RBI numbers from 2007.
Rounding out the multi-talent-blessed top squad are Southland
Conference Player of the Year OF Michael Rockett (.360- 10 HR-68
RBI) of UT-San Antonio, Arizona State OF Jason Kipnis (.371-14-73,
24 SB in 28 tries), Tennessee OF Kentrail Davis of 2008 Team USA,
designated hitter Chad Cregar (.360-21-82) of Western Kentucky,
and another Arizona State multi-purpose standout in utility player
Mike Leake (11-3 as a pitcher, 3.49 ERA, .340 batting average).
Many of these preseason standouts will be nominated for the 23nd
annual Dick Howser Trophy, presented by the St. Petersburg (Fla.)
Area chamber of Commerce and voted upon by the NCBWA membership.
The Howser Trophy will be awarded on Saturday, June 13, 2009 prior
to Game One of the NCAA World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha,
2009 NCBWA DIVISION I PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM
||College of Charleston
||Sugar Land, Texas
||San Diego State
||San Diego, Calif.
||El Cajon, Calif.
||West Hills, Calif.
Second Team: C Bryce Massanari, Georgia,
Sr.; 1B Alan Ahmady, Fresno State, Jr.; 2B Jed Gyorko,
West Virginia, So.; 3B Bennett Davis, Elon, Sr.;
SS (tie) Grant Green, USC, Jr.; SS Josh Rutledge,
Alabama, So.; OF Nate Lape, Marshall, Sr.; OF Matt
den Dekker, Florida, Jr.; OF Cory Harrilchak, Elon,
Sr.; DH Ben Carlson, Missouri State, Jr.; UT Brandon
May, Alabama, Jr.; SP Christian Bergman, UC Irvine,
Jr.; SP Shane Davis, Canisius, So.; SP Chris Fetter,
Michigan, Sr.; SP Seth Maness, East Carolina, So.;
SP Justin Marks, Louisville, Jr.; SP Mike Minor,
Vanderbilt, Jr.; RP Kyle Bellamy, Miami (Fla.),
Jr.; RP Nick Gaudi, Pepperdine, Sr.; RP Jimmy Gilheeney,
N.C. State, Jr.
Third Team: C Griffin Benedict, Georgia Southern,
Sr.; 1B David Anderson, Coastal Carolina, Sr.; 2B
Ben Soignier, Louisiana-Monroe, Sr.; 3B Stuart Tapley,
Florida State, So.; SS Derek Dietrich, Georgia Tech,
So.; OF Aaron Senne, Missouri, Jr.; OF Sonny Meade,
The Citadel, Sr.; OF Brian Cavazos-Galvez, New Mexico,
Sr.; OF Kyle Conley, Washington, Jr.; DH Ty Wright,
Georgia Southern, Sr.; UT Blake Dean, LSU, Jr.;
UT Rob Segedin, Tulane, So.; SP Ryan Berry, Rice,
Jr.; SP Daniel Bibona, UC Irvine, Jr.; SP Matt Harvey,
North Carolina, So.; SP Tyler Lockwood, TCU, Jr.;
SP Bryan Morgado, Tennessee, So.; SP Scott Ruffin,
Texas, So.; RP Zach Calhoon, UT-San Antonio, Jr.;
RP Chase Dempsay, Houston, So.; RP Jason Stoffel,
here for .pdf version of release with complete player
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