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Georgia Tech Ranked No. 1 In Pre-Season Baseball Poll

ATLANTA — Led by the return of all nine position player starters which formed an offensive juggernaut that hit a school-record .342 last year, Georgia Tech was ranked first in Collegiate Baseball Magazine’s pre-season poll.

The Yellow Jackets, who captured the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships a year ago in rolling to a 50-16 record, also return four starting pitchers.

The team is led by junior third baseman Mark Teixeira (.427, 18 HR, 21 2B, 80 RBI, 13 SB), winner of the 2000 Dick Howser Trophy as the national player of the years and the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of The Year. The Tech offense also returns junior second baseman Richard Lewis (.398, 4 HR, 17 2B, 52 RBI), senior outfielder Jason Basil (.382, 15 HR, 25 2B, 83 RBI), senior catcher Bryan Prince (.387, 8 HR, 21 2B, 77 RBI), junior shortstop Victor Menocal (.329, 13 2B, 39 RBI), senior outfielder Brad Stockton (.342, 7 HR, 22 2B, 39 RBI) and senior DH Derik Goffena (.301, 4 HR, 56 RBI).

The Tech pitching staff is led by junior right handers Rhett Parrott (8-3, 4.48 ERA, 81 K, 35 BB) and Steve Kelly (8-2, 4.73 ERA, 80 K, 39 BB).

“On paper, we feel we have a very good team,” said Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall, who welcomes back four starters who hit .382 or higher last season, four players who hit 21 doubles or more and five regulars who knocked in 50 or more runs. “But as always, we must prove it on the field that we are what we appear to be.

“We do return every position player starter from last year and also welcome back Matthew Boggs who has recovered from Tommy John surgery last season. He might be the best leadoff hitter in the nation. He has good speed, leads the team in walks and hit by pitches, and he forces pitchers to go deep in the count. He is one of those pesky hitters who causes pitchers fits.

“Offensively, we have a chance to be very potent,” Hall continued. “As far as pitching, our number two, three and four starters are back from last year. In addition, we added a high profile pitcher in Brian Sager who did extremely well for Stanford last year. There is no doubt we have quality starters. Our pitchers in the bullpen also look strong.”

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll

Rank School ('00 Final Record)    Points  Final '00 Rank 1. Georgia Tech (50-16)          478     10 2. Southern California (44-20)   477     5 3. Louisiana St. (52-17)         473     1 4. Nebraska (51-17)              469     11 5. Clemson (51-18)               465     6 6. Arizona St. (44-15)           462     12 7. Rice (43-23)                  460     26 8. Florida St. (53-19)           456     3 9. Miami, Fla. (41-19-1)         455     1410. South Carolina (56-10)        453     911. Stanford (50-16)              449     212. Cal. St. Fullerton (38-21)    446     2213. Florida (44-23-1)             442     1714. Notre Dame (46-18)            439     NR15. Oklahoma (41-23)              437     NR16. Georgia (32-26)               433     NR17. Baylor (45-17)                430     1818. Auburn (41-20)                429     2519. Central Florida (43-19)       425     3020. Stetson (48-16)               424     2321. Mississippi St. (41-20)       420     1522. Long Beach St. (31-25)        418     NR23. Evansville (41-22)            415     NR24. Alabama (41-24)               411     2725. Tennessee (40-23)             409     NR

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