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Dec. 23, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team has been picked 29th in the Collegiate Baseball Fabulous 40 preseason poll, the newspaper announced Monday. College baseball coaches from across the country selected the preseason favorites.

According to voting, the University of Texas is the preseason favorite to win the 2003 College World Series, June 13-21 in Omaha, Neb. The Longhorns return six position starters and eight pitchers from the team that won the 2002 national championship. Florida State, Southern California, Rice and Georgia Tech round out the Top 5.

The Buckeyes, which were the only Big Ten team ranked in the preseason Top 40, open the season Feb. 28-March 2 at the Tournament of Champions Cardinal Classic in Beaumont, Texas. Ohio State will meet host Lamar, Oklahoma and Southwest Missouri State. All four teams played in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, while only Oklahoma (27th) and Southwest Missouri State (24th) are ranked in the preseason poll.

Ohio State finished 38-20-1 in 2002 after advancing to the championship game against Notre Dame in the South Bend Regional.

Collegiate Baseball also announced its preseason All-America teams and named left-handed pitcher Scott Lewis (So., Washington Court House, Ohio/Washington) to its third team. It was the second preseason mention of Lewis, who was also named a Third Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Lewis, the 2002 Big Ten Freshman of the Year was a First Team All-Big Ten selection and finished the year with an 8-2 record and a team-best 2.84 ERA. He went 2-2 to start the year but won his last six decisions. Lewis finished the year with a Buckeye-best 91 strikeouts in 92.0 innings and was named to the all-tournament teams at the Big Ten Tournament and at the South Bend Regional.

Preseason polls by Baseball America and The Sports Weekly/ESPN (formerly USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN) have yet to be announced.

Preseason Poll

Rk School Final
’02 Record
Pts Final
’02 Rank
1. Texas 57-15 496 1
2. Florida State 60-14 493 9
3. Southern California 37-24 490 12
4. Rice 52-14 489 7
5. Georgia Tech 52-16 485 5
6. LSU 44-22 484 11
7. Cal State-Fullerton 37-22 479 28
8. South Carolina 57-18 477 2
9. Stanford 47-18 475 4
10. Houston 48-17 470 10
11. Mississippi State 34-24-1 468 NR
12. Arizona State 37-21 464 26
13. Long Beach State 39-21 462 27
14. Miami (Fla.) 34-29 458 17
15. Wake Forest 47-13-1 457 14
16. Richmond 53-13 456 13
17. Baylor 36-26 450 NR
18. Clemson 54-18 449 3
19. Notre Dame 50-18 447 6
20. South Alabama 42-19 445 25
21. Florida Atlantic 46-21 440 15
22. Nebraska 47-21 438 8
23. Tulane 36-27 437 NR
24. S.W. Missouri State 43-21 432 NR
25. California 29-27 430 NR
26. Central Florida 41-22 424 NR
27. Oklahoma 35-27 423 NR
28. James Madison 44-16 419 NR
29. Ohio State 38-20-1 416 NR
30. Wichita State 47-17 411 22
31. Kent State 37-22 408 NR
32. Stetson 42-19 405 NR
33. Georgia 32-29 403 NR
34. North Carolina 43-21 398 19
35. Texas Tech 42-20 395 24
36. East Carolina 43-20-1 392 NR
37. Southern 45-10 390 NR
38. Florida International 41-20 386 NR
39. Oklahoma State 37-21 380 NR
40. Auburn 34-26 379 NR