Head coach Ed Cheff was not surprised by the ranking. "The defending national champion is usually picked as the number one team in the preseason poll," said Cheff.
Lewis-Clark State (59-12) return several key players to its 2001 roster. NAIA First-Team All-America Trevor Brown (Eugene, OR), who led the Warriors in batting .434, home runs 11, and RBI with 75, returns at first base. Honorable mention All-America pitcher, Chris Mabeus (Soldotna, AK), who went 11-0 with a 3.05 earned run average, returns to lead the L-C pitching staff. College World Series MVP, Wes Hutchison (Burbank, CA) returns as the closer. Hutchison went 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA and six saves, including two saves in the World Series.
"I hope we get the right combination of position players because the pitching is there," said Cheff.
College World Series runners-up, Dallas Baptist University, is ranked second and instate rival, Albertson College is picked third. Bellevue (NE) University is fourth and Oklahoma City rounds out the top-five.
"Albertson and Cumberland (ranked ninth) are probably two of the tougest teams in the country," said Cheff.
The Warriors are scheduled, tentatively, to open the season Saturday,
February 10th, against Central Washington University, at Harris Field at 1:00 pm.
Click here to see the entire poll.
State College, 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501 (208) 792-2289