Rice pitcher Eddie Degerman, James Madison outfielder Kellen Kulbacki, Washington pitcher Tim Lincecum, Houston P-DH-UT Brad Lincoln, and Cal State Fullerton sophomore Wes Roemer highlight the first unit. Degerman and Roemer pitched their teams into the NCAA World Series after both schools hosted NCAA Super Regionals on June 9-12.
In addition, NCBWA Stopper of the Year Don Czyz (who recorded a school-record and NCAA-leading 19 saves) of Kansas joins the five finalists for that Award on either the first or second units of these selections, which began after the 1991 season and are voted upon by members of the NCBWA.
The first team starting pitchers combined for 51 wins and 610 strikeouts prior to NCAA World Series activity, while the relief men Rice's Cole St.Clair and KU's Czyz · had 30 saves between them and both had earned run averages below 1.60.
Hitters on the first team were among national leaders in almost every category.
Kulbacki smashed a NCAA Division I-topping 24 home runs, while shortstop Tom King of Troy paced the nation in hits with 117 (prior to World Series stats, which count in individual and team tallies). Kulbacki was also second nationally in batting average at .464 while Ohio State third baseman Ronnie Bourquin was chosen as Big Ten Conference Player of the Year.
Pittsburgh second baseman Jim Negrych, the first Panthers' baseball player to be named as a semifinalist on the Dick Howser Trophy list and NCBWA District I Player of the Year, carried a .396 average with 11 homers and 60 RBI in 53 games. Designated hitter/utility athlete Lincoln not only ripped 14 home runs second on the Cougars' 2006 squad, but won 12 games in 14 decisions, while striking out 152 batters in 127 2/3 innings. Lincoln's impressive totals brought the first unit pitching victories' total up to 63 along with 762 strikeouts · the most ever by a first team in NCBWA All-America annals.
Clemson first baseman Andy D'Alessio (22 homers, 80 RBI) and Cal State Fullerton's Roemer (who pitched 60-plus innings without a walk in '06 and entered the CWS with six free passes in 141 2/3 innings for a .38 walk ratio each nine innings tossed) have the opportunity to be two of the stalwarts in the 2006 NCAA World Series in Omaha after posting awesome numbers prior to June 16.
The second team has five starting pitchers with a 68 victories, including 14-game winners Lauren Gagnier of Cal State Fullerton and TCU's Jake Arrieta. Oregon State's Dallas Buck (12-2) paced the Beavers into their first back-to-back appearances in the CWS in school history during 2005 and '06. Second team relief ace Vinnie Pestano of Cal State Fullerton on the second squad gives the Titans a total of three moundmen on the first two teams.
Pro-Line is in its second year as a sponsor of the NCBWA. It produces and distributes plaques for National Hitter and Pitchers of the Week during the regular season and has extended its award production to include plaques for each member of the Pro-Line/NCBWA All-American team.
Pro-Line Cap Company is a completely custom, cut-and-sew headwear manufacturer. All caps are built as ordered to their customer's satisfaction. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Pro-Line is the official cap of 33 state high school baseball associations and the official on the field· cap of over 100 Division I college baseball teams.
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 contests.