Baseball Predicted to Finish Fifth in C-USA Preseason Poll

Jan. 18, 2006

IRVING, Texas - UCF, which posted a 42-18 record last season, was picked to finish fifth in its first season in Conference USA, the league office announced. C-USA's nine head coaches voted on the preseason poll, which tabbed Rice as the unanimous pick to win the league championship. UCF junior right-handed pitcher Tim Bascom was named C-USA's Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The Golden Knights return 19 letterwinners and welcome 14 freshmen to the team in 2006. The Golden Knights return one of the nation's top pitching staffs, led by Bascom. In 2005, Bascom led UCF with a 10-2 record and a 3.10 ERA in 16 games. He also topped the staff in innings pitched (113.2) and strikeouts (113). The 113 strikeouts ranked sixth in UCF single-season history while his 10 victories tied for sixth in the Golden Knights single-season annals. UCF also welcomes the return of sophomore pitcher Taylor Meier. The 2004 Freshman All-American missed all of 2005 with an arm injury. The 6-7 right-hander was 6-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 2004 with 56 strikeouts in 74 innings.

Nationally-ranked Rice tops the preseason poll, followed by Tulane in the second spot. Rice is ranked seventh in Baseball America's Preseason Top 25 while Tulane is No. 12.

Southern Miss was selected third in the preseason poll, followed by Houston, UCF, East Carolina, UAB, Memphis and Marshall.

2006 PRESEASON BASEBALL COACHES POLL(as selected by C-USA's head coaches)1. Rice (9)2. Tulane3. Southern Miss4. Houston5. UCF6. East Carolina7. UAB8. Memphis9. Marshall
(first place votes in parentheses)

PLAYER OF THE YEARJoe Savery, Rice (Sophomore, Pitcher/Infielder)

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