Baseball Ranked #1 By Collegiate Baseball

The preseason ranking is the highest the Green Wave have been ranked in their 113-year history, with the previous high coming in 2002 when Tulane was tabbed third in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. It also marks the first time a Tulane team has been ranked preseason No. 1 since 1949 when the Green Wave football team claimed the honor from The Sporting News.

NEW ORLEANS, La.–The Tulane University baseball team claimed its first-ever preseason No. 1 ranking as the Green Wave sit atop the initial 2005 Baseball America poll, the national publication announced Wednesday.

The No. 1 ranking comes two weeks after the Green Wave claimed the fourth spot on the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll on Dec. 22. The preseason ranking is the highest the Green Wave have been ranked in their 113-year history, with the previous high coming in 2002 when Tulane was tabbed third in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. It also marks the first time a Tulane team has been ranked preseason No. 1 since 1949 when the Green Wave football team claimed the honor from The Sporting News.

"It's flattering but we all understand that this is the preseason poll," head coach Rick Jones. "Hopefully it'll help us continue to build our support and fan base, but the big thing to remember is that it's the preseason poll. There's a reason you play out the season. That's how you find out who's really No. 1 and that will be our goal, to be No. 1 in the final poll."

Arch-rival LSU was second to the Green Wave in the preseason poll, followed by Cal State Fullerton, Texas and Miami (Fla.). The Green Wave will play 11 games against teams ranked in Baseball America's preseason Top 25 with a home-and-home vs. LSU (and three-game home series vs. No. 3 Cal State Fullerton (March 11-13), No. 9 Arizona State (Feb. 18-20) and No. 21 TCU (May 19-21).

The Green Wave returns seven of its top nine hitters and four of its top five pitchers from the 2004 team that finished second in Conference USA, won the NCAA Oxford Super Regional and advanced to the NCAA Fullerton Super Regional. In addition, Tulane's recruiting class ranked fourth-best in the nation by Baseball America and fifth in the country by Collegiate Baseball.

Headlining the list of returners for 2005 is junior utility athlete Brian Bogusevic, who earned second-team All-America honors a year ago and was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2004 NCAA Oxford Regional. Joining Bogusevic on the list of returnees are a quintet of seniors – outfielder Matt Barket, catcher Greg Dini, second baseman Joe Holland, catcher/DH Scott Madden and shortstop Tommy Manzella – as well as position players Tim Guidry, Mark Hamilton and Nathan Southard.

Bogusevic also returns as one of the Green Wave's top pitchers from last year's team, and will be joined by starters J.R. Crowel and Billy Mohl, and bullpen arms Ricky Fairchild, Matt Goebel, Brandon Gomes, Tyler Kimmons, Daniel Latham and Chris Worster.

The list of talented newcomers is highlighted by transfer Micah Owings, who was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and a 2003 All-American as a two-way star in two seasons at Georgia Tech. Also joining the team for the 2005 season is Junior College All-Star Matt Riser, High School All-American Warren McFadden and 2004 MLB draft picks Brad Emaus and Sean Morgan.

The Green Wave opens the 2005 regular season on Friday, Feb. 11 when they open a three-game weekend against Southeast Missouri State at 6:30 p.m. at Turchin Stadium. For season ticket information, contact the Tulane University Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.


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