Diamond Pirates Ranked 31st In Preseason Poll

TUCSON, Ariz. -The East Carolina baseball team has been ranked No. 31 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Fabulous 40 pre-season NCAA Division I baseball poll.

The Pirates, who finished with a 42-21 overall record in 2008, made its ninth NCAA Regional appearance in the last 10 years advancing to the regional finals against Coastal Carolina.

ECU welcomes back 22 letterwinners including pre-season All-American and Brooks Wallace Watch List ace Seth Maness, along with 2008 All-Conference USA performer Stephen Batts; C-USA All-Freshman Team selection Dustin Harrington; All C-USA Tournament member Kyle Roller and Conway Regional All-Tournament performer Brandon Henderson.

Also stepping onto the diamond were 14 new faces, which consists of three transfers Joe Avchen (Seminole College), Chris Heston (Seminole College) and Zach Woods (Louisburg College), as well as 11 freshmen: Shawn Armstrong, Brett Bowers, Kevin Brandt, Philip Clark, Jacob Davis, Lance Honeycutt, Patrick Somers, Corey Thompson, Mark Wilder, Mike Wright and Zach Wright.

LSU (495) garnered the top spot in the Fabulous 40 pre-season poll edging out North Carolina (494) by one point. C-USA member Rice (489) is third, followed by Georgia (486) and Stanford (484).

The "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's
NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll
(As of Dec. 22, 2008)

Rank School ('08 Final Record) – Points
1. Louisiana St. (49-19-1) - 495
2. North Carolina (54-14) - 494
3. Rice (47-15) - 489
4. Georgia (45-25-1) - 486
5. Stanford (41-24-2) - 484
6. Arizona St. (49-13) - 482
7. Florida St. (54-14) - 479
8. Louisville (41-21) - 476
9. Texas A&M (46-19) - 473
10. Texas (39-22) - 470

11. Mississippi (39-25) - 467
12. Georgia Tech. (41-21) - 465
13. Cal. St. Fullerton (41-22) - 462
14. Oklahoma St. (44-18) - 459
15. Baylor (32-26) - 457
16. Fresno St. (47-31) - 456
17. San Diego (44-17) - 453
18. Miami, Fla. (53-11) - 451
19. Kentucky (44-19) - 448
20. U.C. Irvine (42-18) - 445

21. UCLA (33-27) - 443
22. Missouri (39-21) - 440
23. Pepperdine (38-21) - 439
24. Southern California (28-28) - 436
25. Florida (34-24) - 435
26. Clemson (31-27-1) – 432
27. Notre Dame (33-21-1 - 430
28. Coastal Carolina (50-14) - 428
29. Michigan (46-14) - 425
30. U.C. Santa Barbara (35-21) - 423

31. East Carolina (42-21) – 422
32. Missouri St. (40-17) - 420
33. Southern Miss (42-22) - 417
34. Tulane (39-22-1) - 415
35. Arizona (42-19) - 414
36. Wichita St. (48-17) - 410
37. Texas Christian (44-19) - 409
38. Oregon St. (28-24) - 406
39. California (33-21-2) - 402
40. Alabama (35-28) - 398


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