College Baseball Poll - Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
For Immediate Release: Monday, Dec. 23, 2002
TEXAS NO. 1 IN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER (www.baseballnews.com) POLL
TUCSON, Ariz. The University of Texas is the favorite to win the 2003 College World Series, according to voting by college baseball coaches across the USA as the Longhorns head up Collegiate Baseball newspaper's Fabulous 40 pre-season poll.
The defending national champions, who rolled to a 57-15 overall record last season, return six position player starters and eight outstanding pitchers. Four of those players have been named Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-Americans in LHP Justin Simmons (16-1, 2.52 ERA) and RHP Huston Street (14 SV, 4-1, 0.96 ERA), possibly the top starting pitcher and closer in college baseball today, along with 2B Tim Moss (.371, 16 2B, 39 RBI, 40 SB) and RF Dustin Majewski (.401, 10 HR, 20 2B, 50 RBI).
Majewski was a catalyst for the offense during Texas run for a fifth national title as he batted a team-high .471 with 16 runs scored, 9 doubles, one triple, 5 home runs and 21 RBI during post-season action. Moss led Texas in six offensive categories, including hits (112), triples (7) and stolen bases (40).
Pitching and defense should again be sensational for the Longhorns. One year ago, Texas finished second in the nation in earned run average with a 2.83 mark. Incredibly, nine pitchers had ERAs under 3.00. The staffs strikeout to walk ratio was stunning with 536 strikeouts and only 171 walks. Opponents could only muster an anemic batting average of .233 against Longhorn pitching.
On defense, Texas was fifth in the nation with a .972 fielding percentage. The Longhorns are hardly chopped liver on offense as well. Texas ranked third in the nation with 164 doubles as eight players hit 10 or more last season.
The Longhorns were extremely disciplined at the plate with 262 walks in 72 games. When players got on base, the team swiped 100 of 126 bases. If that wasnt enough, Texas employs a sophisticated bunting attack that drives opponents buggy.
Beyond the obvious talent Texas has back, the team is extremely experienced with veterans who have played in many high stakes games and flourished. There are 15 players on the squad who are juniors or seniors this season. In addition, the Longhorns landed the sixth best recruiting class in the nation in 2002 which is filled with superb athletes and pitchers.
The "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season.