2002 Additions Among The Best

The defending national champion University of Miami baseball team has assembled one of the nation's best freshman classes, according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper and Baseball America. Collegiate Baseball has rated the 2002 freshman class No. 4 in the nation, while Baseball America ranked the rookie class at No. 6. Among the other top five class as voted on by Collegiate Baseball: No. 1 USC, No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 5 Stanford.

The 2002 UM freshmen class consists of:

Matt Burkett (Columbus/Miami, FL), Vince Bongiovanni (Barrington/Barrington, IL), Brandon Camardese (Chaminade-Madonna,/Cooper City, FL), Greg Dini Jr. (Biscop Moore/Longwood, FL), Ryan Dixon (Seminole/Seminole, FL), Danny Figueroa (Gulliver/Miami, FL), Paco Figueroa (Gulliver/Miami, FL), Richard Gianotti (St. Thomas Aquinas/Plantation, FL), Joey Hooft (Galena/Reno, FL), Alex Perez (South Miami/Miami, FL), Alfredo Perez (Puerto Rico), Erick San Pedro (Pace/Hialeah, FL), Ryan Sneir (Coral Springs/Coral Springs, FL) and Shawn Valdes-Fauli (Columbus/Miami, FL).

Miami returns 19 players from last year's championship squad that ended the season on a 17-game winning streak to compile a 53-12 overall mark. Among the returning players are reigning NCAA stolen base king and All-American Javy Rodriguez, catcher Danny Matienzo, third baseman Kevin Howard, pitcher Kiki Bengochea, closer George Huguet and set-up man Luke DeBold.

The Hurricanes will begin fall practice Thursday, Nov. 1 and will continue until Nov. 16. The sessions, to take place at Mark Light Stadium, are open to the public.

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