Dec. 20, 2001

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio – Collegiate Baseball announced today the Ohio State baseball team is ranked No. 24 in its Fabulous 40 Preseason poll.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes are the defending Big Ten Champions and return preseason All-American and U.S. National team member Nick Swisher (Jr., Parkersburg, W.Va.) at first base, reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-American Doug Deeds (So., Bexley, Ohio) in the outfield, along with the top three starting pitchers from last year’s staff – E.J. Laratta (Sr., Englewood, Colo.), Greg Prenger (Jr., Harpster, Ohio) and Josh Newman (So., Wheelersburg, Ohio). Staff ace Laratta is a three-time All-Big Ten selection. Prenger was a Third-Team All-Big Ten selection last year and Newman was named a Freshman All-American.%^$

%^$”Preseason rankings are nice but we know we have a lot of work to do,” head coach Bob Todd said. “We are fielding one of our deepest teams in years and our guys expect to compete on a national level.”%^$

%^$The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten school ranked in the Top 25.%^$