PROVIDENCE, R.I. –Four BIG EAST baseball players were named to the 2011 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America teams. St. John’s sophomore outfielder Jeremy Baltz was the lone BIG EAST representative on the NCBWA All-America First Team, while Louisville junior second baseman Ryan Wright earned Second Team accolades. Connecticut had a pair of players -senior first baseman Mike Nemeth and junior outfielder George Springer named- to the Third Team.
Baltz, the 2010 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, highlights the group as the lone first team selection. The St. John’s outfielder earned an All-BIG EAST First Team nod in 2010 after finishing fifth in the conference with a .396 batting average. Baltz led the league in home runs (24), RBI (85) and slugging percentage (.771) while helping the Red Storm capture their sixth BIG EAST Championship title. The sophomore totaled 95 hits in 2010, the second-most of any player named to the NCBWA Preseason All-America First Team. Baltz was named to the 2010 Baseball America All-America First Team, ABCA/Rawlings All-America Second Team and the NCBWA All-America Second Team.
Wright, an All-BIG EAST First Team selection, led Louisville to its second-straight BIG EAST regular-season title last year. The junior finished third in the BIG EAST with 80 RBI, while also ranking seventh in home runs (16) and sixth in total bases (162). The 80 RBI rank him third among players named to the preseason second team. Wright was a 2010 ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-America selection as well as a Baseball America All-America Second Team pick.
Nemeth and Springer were both All-BIG EAST Second Team selections in 2010 after leading Connecticut to a runner-up finish in the 2010 BIG EAST Championship. Nemeth ranked seventh in the conference with a .386 batting average. He also drove in 84 runs, which ranks him second among all players named to the NCBWA third team. Nemeth was selected to the 2010 ABCA/Rawlings All-America Third Team. Springer tied for fifth in the BIG EAST with 18 home runs while also tying for second with 33 stolen bases.
The baseball season gets started on Feb. 18, 2011. BIG EAST preseason honors will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 29.