Preseason Poll Ranks Tulane Baseball No. 24

Southard claimed first-team honors and Emaus earned a spot on the third team. It was the second preseason accolade for the pair as Southard was a second-team preseason pick and Emaus garnered third-team honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association earlier this month

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Tulane University baseball team claimed the No. 24 spot on the Collegiate Baseball Top 40 Preseason Poll, and individual standouts Nathan Southard and Brad Emaus were named preseason All-Americans, the national publication announced Thursday.

Southard claimed first-team honors and Emaus earned a spot on the third team. It was the second preseason accolade for the pair as Southard was a second-team preseason pick and Emaus garnered third-team honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association earlier this month.

The Collegiate Baseball poll is the first to be released for the upcoming 2006 season and comes six months after the Green Wave went 56-12, won the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the College World Series for the second time in school history.

Southard earned the preseason honor after an outstanding junior campaign in 2005 when he hit .341 (95-for-279) with a .563 slugging percentage on the strength of a team-best 24 doubles, a triple and 12 home runs. He drove in a career-high 53 runs, scored a team-leading 80 runs and was 16-for-20 in stolen bases.

He earned first-team All-Conference USA honors, C-USA All-Tournament and All-NCAA New Orleans Regional honors in 2005, and was named C-USA Tournament MVP after hitting .583 (7-for-13) with three home runs and six RBI. All three of his long balls came in a semifinal showdown vs. Houston (May 28), which tied the Tulane and C-USA Tourney single-game record.

Southard also tallied a pair of impressing hitting streaks with a 13-gamer from Feb. 12-March 8 when he hit .400 (18-for-45) with six doubles, a home run and 11 RBI, and a 21-game streak – which stands second all-time in Tulane history –from April 30-June 18 when he hit .379 (36-for-95) with seven doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBI.

Emaus, meanwhile, earned the preseason distinction after earning 2005 C-USA Freshman of the Year, first-team All C-USA and Louisville Slugger and Baseball America Freshman All-America honors. As a true freshman, Emaus started all 68 games and hit .321 (84-for-262) with a .542 slugging percentage courtesy of 19 doubles and 13 home runs. He scored 71 runs and posted a 1.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 43 bases on balls and just 38 Ks.

He tallied at least one hit in 28 of the Green Wave's 30 C-USA games, and three of his 13 home runs were grand slams and helped account for 56 RBI, which ranked second on the team in 2005. Emaus also earned All C-USA Tournament and All-NCAA New Orleans Regional honors, and had a 10-game hitting streak from April 15-30 when he hit .318 (14-for-44) with six doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.

Joining Tulane in the Top 40 from C-USA are Rice, which came in at No. 5, Southern Miss at No. 30 and Houston at No. 32. Rice's Joe Savery (UT), Josh Rodriguez (SS) and Eddie Degerman (RHP) earned first, second, and third-team preseason All-America honors, respectively, while UCF's Tim Bascom (RHP) and Southern Miss' Daniel Best (Relief) claimed third-team recognition.

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