PROVIDENCE, R.I. –Five BIG EAST baseball players were named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America teams as selected by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Connecticut outfielder George Springer earned a First Team selection. Louisville had a pair of players earn selections- second baseman Ryan Wright (Second Team) and pitcher Tony Zych (Third Team). St. John’s pitcher Kyle Hansen and Connecticut pitcher Matt Barnes also earned Third Team nods.
Springer finished tied for fifth in the BIG EAST in home runs (18) and second in stolen bases (33) to notch a First Team selection. The junior earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors last season, hitting .337 and driving in 62 runs. He was named to the NCBWA Preseason All-America Second Team earlier this week. Barnes notched a Third Team selection after posting an 8-3 record on the mound for the Huskies in 2010. Barnes was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection last season, ranking eighth in the conference in opponent batting average (.257) and sixth in strikeouts (75).
Baltz, the 2010 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, earns a Second 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. Hansen, the Most Outstanding Player at the 2010 BIG EAST Championship, earned a Third Team selection after ranking sixth in the conference with a 3.71 ERA. The senior was also first in the league in opponent batting average (.227) and fourth in strikeouts (85).
Wright, an All-BIG EAST First Team selection last season, led Louisville to its second-straight BIG EAST regular-season title last year. The junior earned a Second Team nod after finishing third in the BIG EAST with 80 RBI, while also ranking seventh in home runs (16) and sixth in total bases (162). Zych notched Third Team honors after going 5-2 last season in 22 games. The junior had 50 strikeouts in 59.6 innings pitched.
The baseball season gets started on Feb. 18, 2011. BIG EAST preseason honors will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 29.