Jan. 4, 2011

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Barnes, Springer highlight preseason all-Big East team


Senior right-hander Matt Barnes of Connecticut was named Preseason Pitcher of the Year and fellow Husky George Springer, a junior outfielder, was named Preseason Player of the Year to headline the 2011 Big East Preseason All-Conference Teams, as voted by the head coaches and released by the league office.


Barnes was 8-3 a season ago with an ERA of 3.92. He walked 25 and struck out 75 in 82.2 innings. Opponents hit .257 against Barnes. He made the 2011 Preseason All-America Third Team by Collegiate Baseball.


Springer batted .337 as a sophomore with 18 home runs, 62 RBI and 33 steals. He was named to the 2011 Preseason All-America First Team by Collegiate Baseball.


Both players were unanimous picks at their positions, as were senior first baseman Mike Nemeth of Connecticut, junior second baseman Ryan Wright of Louisville and sophomore outfielder Jeremy Baltz of St. John’s.


The 2011 campaign begins on Friday, Feb. 18, as the majority of teams participate in the third annual Big East/Big Ten Challenge on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The first weekend of conference competition is March 25-27 with all 12 teams involved. The 2011 Big East Baseball Championship returns to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., from May 25-29. The title game will be televised on ESPNU.


2011 Big East Preseason All-Conference Team


Pos. Name, Class, School, 2010 Overall Stats

P *Matt Barnes, Sr., Connecticut, 8-3, 3.92 ERA, 82.2 IP, 75K, 25 BB, .257 OBA

P Matt Iannazzo, Jr., Pittsburgh, 11-2, 3.76 ERA, 93.1 IP, 58 K, 22 BB, .289 OBA

P Kyle Hansen, So., St. John's, 8-3, 3.71 ERA, 94.2 IP, 85 K, 38 BB, .227 OBA

P Randy Fontanez, Sr., USF, 5-7, 3.59 ERA, 110.1 IP, 105 K, 28 BB, .241 OBA

P Andrew Barbosa, Sr., USF, 8-2, 2.40 ERA, 86.1 IP, 95 K, 22 BB, .228 OBA

C Erick Fernandez, Sr., Georgetown, .315, 5 HR, 29 RBI

C Kevan Smith, Sr., Pittsburgh, .361, 5 HR, 46 RBI

1B *Mike Nemeth, Sr., Connecticut, .386, 15 HR, 84 RBI

2B *Ryan Wright, Jr., Louisville, .366, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 10 SB

SS Steve Nyisztor, So., Rutgers, .410, 4 HR, 51 RBI, 11 SB

3B Grant Buckner, Sr., West Virginia, .363, 8 HR, 50 RBI

OF *George Springer, Jr., Connecticut, .337, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 33 SB

OF Stewart Ijames, Jr., Louisville, .324, 14 HR, 63 RBI

OF *Jeremy Baltz, So., St. John's, .396, 24 HR, 85 RBI

DH Kevin Vance, Jr., Connecticut, .322, 7 HR, 36 RBI

DH Ryan Kapp, Jr., Rutgers, .318, 9 HR, 39 RBI


* - unanimous selection


Preseason Player of the Year – George Springer, OF, Connecticut

Preseason Pitcher of the Year – Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut