Romero joins standout starters Cesar Ramos (12-4) of Long Beach
State, Aaron Rawl (13-4) of South Carolina and Jeff Lincecum (10-3) of
Washington for a combined 2004 mark of 49-15 while relief aces Will Startup
of Georgia, Ryan Doherty of Notre Dame and Blair Erickson of UC Irvine
with 40 total saves among them on the first team.
Last summer's 2004 NCBWA postseason squad featured several solid
seniors and many drafted juniors and had just two returnees for the
pre-2005 squad. Nebraska 3B Alex Gordon (.365-18 HR-75 RBI) and William &
Mary OF Chris Rahl (.389-20 HR-70 RBI) were first team members of the '04 after-year group.
The '05 entity included student-athletes from 15 different
conferences and is dominated by juniors. There were 30 members of this
class, 16 seniors and 12 sophomores on the "dream" team. No freshmen
made the squad as committee selection was based largely on 2004 season
An almost-all-junior infield (with senior John Mayberry of Stanford
representing the fourth-year people) on the first unit includes
Mayberry's Stanford teammate Jed Lowrie at second base, Long Beach State
shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and catcher Kiel Thibault of Gonzaga. The top
unit outfield features sluggers Rahl, Brad Corley (.380-19 HR-55 RBI)
of Mississippi State and Ohio State's Steve Carvati (.391-9 HR-52
RBI). The first team included five standouts who either were Players of
the Year or Pitchers of the Year for their conferences last spring and
summer. Relief man Blair Erickson of UC Irvine led the nation with 17
saves in 30 appearances.
The NCBWA second squad includes 12 youngsters whose teams made the '04
NCAA tournament and Team USA catching stalwart Taylor Teagarden
of '04 NCAA runnerup Texas. Seven of the eight pitchers on the
second team had earned run averages under 3.50 against aluminum-bat
competition while these standouts averaged almost one strikeout per inning
On the third team nationally-recognized 2B Justin Turner and OF
Danny Dorn of Cal State Fullerton, 1B Michael Paulk (17 homers) of Cal
State Northridge, '04 freshman sensation SS Shelby Ford of TCU, and OF
Craig Cooper of Notre Dame are among a cavalcade of talent. Three of
the pitchers among that crew posted double-figure wins while the relief
trio combined for 26 saves.
Gonzaga's Thibault leads all hitters selected with a .424
average as a sophomore while nine of the batsmen smashed at least 16 home
runs. There are 13 returnees from 2004 NCAA World Series participants
Cal State Fullerton, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, South Carolina, LSU, and Miami (Fla.) on all
units. Every team but a balanced 2004 Arkansas squad had representation
in the NCBWA advance '05 balloting.
A committee of NCBWA officers and board members chose the 2005
edition after receiving over 300 nominees from 100-plus Division I programs.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to
writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter
updates and official votes in the Howser Award Player of the Year, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA
All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-American awards, publication and writing