FROM COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER
TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Texas is the pre-season favorite to capture the 2010 College World Series, according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I pre-season baseball poll.
The Longhorns, which finished second at the College World Series last year, are absolutely loaded with superb pitching, including three Louisville Slugger pre-season All-Americans in RHP Taylor Jungmann (11-3, 2.00 ERA, 101 K, 35 BB), RHP Chance Ruffin (10-2, 115 K, 25 BB) and RHP Cole Green (5-3, 3.34 ERA, 85 K, 34 BB, who is expected to be drafted in the first three rounds of next June’s Free Agent Draft).
The staff also includes stalwarts such as RHP Brandon Workman (3-5, 3.48 ERA, 82 K, 28 BB) who also is expected to be drafted in the first three rounds next June and RHP Austin Dicharry (8-2, 2.28 ERA, 59 K, 28 BB).
"We start with pitching, and we go at least eight deep with the staff this year," said Head Coach Augie Garrido.
"We have five pitchers who threw a substantial number of innings last season, including Cole Green, Chance Ruffin, Brandon Workman, Taylor Jungmann and Austin Dicharry. Plus, we have some very talented newcomers who have been impressive."
Last year’s pitching staff ranked second in the nation with a team ERA of 2.95 and was No. 1 in hits allowed with 7.52 per nine innings over 67 games. Five position starters return as well, including Louisville Slugger pre-season All-American catcher Cameron Rupp. He is expected to be drafted in the first three rounds of next June’s Free Agent Draft. Last season, he hit .292 with 11 HR, 13 2B, and 46 RBI. But he is even better known by his defensive skills. Rupp almost completely shut down the running game of opponents as he only allowed 27 stolen bases in 39 attempts last season over 63 games with the help of pitchers keeping runners close to bases.
The defense should once again be superb. Last season, Texas ranked eighth in the nation with a fielding percentage of .976.
Garrido said that his offense again will be triggered by the bunt. One year ago, the Longhorns led the nation with 104 sacrifice bunts in 67 games. Where this style of offense especially comes into play is the pressure packed playoffs and the College World Series where defenses rush plays as bunts turn into triples with throws being fired over the first baseman.
It is a style that has allowed Garrido to win five national titles as a head coach (three at Cal. St. Fullerton and two at Texas). Keep in mind that the Longhorns have the potential to hit the ball with power and also feature line drives hitters with good speed on the base paths.
Another big edge Texas has this season is experience. Almost every national champion has College World Series experience from the previous year, and the Longhorns have that important edge.
One other area to mention is a fabulous recruiting class the Longhorns landed last fall orchestrated by Recruiting Coordinator Tommy Harmon. It was ranked 12th in the nation and featured eight superb ball players (seven freshmen and one JC transfer), including six drafted athletes headed by C Jonathan Walsh (18th round pick) and RHP Josh Urban (19th round pick).
For a detailed rundown on the top 40 teams, see the Jan. 8, 2010 edition of Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
- The "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1958 college baseball season.
NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 21, 2009)
|Rank School (’09 Final Record)||Points|
|1. Texas (50-16-1)||496|
|2. Louisiana St. (56-17)||494|
|3. Virginia (49-15-1)||493|
|4. Cal. St. Fullerton (47-16)||492|
|5. Arizona St. (51-14)||491|
|6. Georgia Tech. (38-19-1)||486|
|7. Florida St. (45-18)||483|
|8. U.C. Irvine (45-15)||482|
|9. Florida (42-22)||479|
|10. Oregon St. (37-19)||475|
|11. Rice (43-18)||473|
|12. Miami, Fla. (38-22)||470|
|13. North Carolina (48-18)||469|
|14. Ohio St. (42-19)||467|
|15. Texas Christian (40-18)||464|
|16. Clemson (44-22)||462|
|17. Coastal Carolina (47-16)||459|
|18. East Carolina (46-20)||455|
|19. Louisville (47-18)||454|
|20. UCLA (27-29)||452|
|21. Southern Miss. (40-26)||450|
|22. Mississippi (44-20)||446|
|23. Arkansas (41-24)||443|
|24. San Diego (29-25)||441|
|25. Oklahoma (43-20)||439|
|26. Stanford (30-25)||435|
|27. Wichita St. (30-27)||430|
|28. South Carolina (40-23)||428|
|29. Texas A&M (37-24)||427|
|30. Minnesota (40-19)||425|
|31. Georgia (38-24)||422|
|32. Vanderbilt (37-27)||419|
|33. Fresno St. (32-30)||417|
|34. Pepperdine (31-23)||415|
|35. South Florida (34-12)||412|
|36. Kansas (39-24)||410|
|37. Middle Tennessee St. (44-18)||407|
|38. Florida Gulf Coast (36-18)||402|
|39. Notre Dame (36-23)||401|
|40. Dallas Baptist (38-17)||397|
|Other Teams Receiving Votes: Cal Poly, Arizona, Oregon, Long Beach St., California, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma St., Central Florida, Mississippi St., Alabama, Auburn, James Madison, Tulane, Kentucky, Tennessee, New Mexico St., Ball St., Bowling Green St., Hawaii, Houston, Kent St., Missouri St., Creighton, Western Kentucky, N.C. State, Boston College, Illinois, Jacksonville, Washington, Southern Cal., Washington St., Troy, San Diego St., College of Charleston, Georgia Southern, St. John’s, Wagner, New Mexico, Eastern Illinois, Kennesaw St., Florida International, West Virginia, Elon, Texas St., Southeastern Louisiana, Stetson, Oral Roberts, Winthrop, N.C. Wilmington, Georgia St., Dartmouth, Wright St., Bethune-Cookman, Liberty, Dayton, Rhode Island, Southern. |
Source: Collegiate Baseball Newspaper