PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers baseball team, in a vote of league head coaches, has been picked to finish fourth in the 2003 BIG EAST Preseason Poll, released today by the conference office. Defending regular season and tournament champion Notre Dame earned nine of 11 first-place endorsements and was picked to finish first, followed by Virginia Tech and Boston College. " />
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Rutgers Baseball Picked Fourth in BIG EAST Preseason Poll
Sophomore OF Jeff Frazier Named to Preseason Squad
  • Posted on December 04, 2002 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers baseball team, in a vote of league head coaches, has been picked to finish fourth in the 2003 BIG EAST Preseason Poll, released today by the conference office. Defending regular season and tournament champion Notre Dame earned nine of 11 first-place endorsements and was picked to finish first, followed by Virginia Tech and Boston College.

    In addition, sophomore OF Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) was named a Preseason All-BIG EAST outfielder. ND second baseman Steve Sollman was named the Preseason Player of the Year, while BC sophomore Chris Lambert earned Preseason Pitcher of the Year honors.

    “The fourth-place pick is fair, considering the losses we had from last year’s team,” said head coach Fred Hill, who welcomes 16 newcomers in 2003. “We have some very talented returning starters and others who will now have the opportunity to step into more prominent roles. If they do that successfully, we will be OK.”

    Rutgers finished 35-22 last season and, after placing fourth in the BIG EAST standings, lost to Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Championship final, 3-2, in 10 innings. The team lost seven seniors, as well as four underclassmen to the Major League Baseball amateur draft. Frazier, who hit .356 with a single-season record 13 home runs and 56 RBI, is the top returning player, but will be joined by six other returning starters, including fifth-year senior Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ), who missed all but one game in 2002 after hitting .354 and .346 in 2000 and 2001, respectively. He endured season-ending back injury in the spring, but is fully healthy.

    Rutgers’ season begins on Friday, February 21, when the team heads to Norfolk, VA for a three-game series with Old Dominion. RU will play 20-straight road games to open the season.

    PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    Steve Sollmann, Notre Dame, Jr., 2B, 5-10, 190, Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier
     
    PRESEASON PITCHER OF THE YEAR
    Chris Lambert, Boston College, So., RHP, 6-0, 195, Manchester, N.H./Manchester Memorial

    Preseason All-BIG EAST Team Key 2002 Statistics (All Games Played)
    P - Chris Lambert, Boston College, So.** 9-3, 2.76 ERA, 78.1 IP, 87 SO, 5 CG, .216 Opp. Avg.
    P - Grant Johnson, Notre Dame, So. 9-5, 3.46 ERA, 101.1 IP, 86 SO, 1 CG
    P - James Russell, Villanova, Sr. 1-3, 2.33 ERA, 27 IP, 15 Saves, 35 SO, 8 BB
    C - Jed English, Virginia Tech, Sr. .312, 37 R, 60 H, 14 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI
    IF - Jason Delaney, Boston College, So. .348, 32 R, 63 H, 15 2B, 27 RBI, .417 OBP
    IF - Steve Sollmann, Notre Dame, Jr. .362, 53 R, 77 H, 4 3B, 47 RBI, .420 OBP
    IF - Spencer Harris, Virginia Tech, Sr. .292, 39 R, 12 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 40 RBI, 10 SB
    IF - Marc Tugwell, Virginia Tech, Sr. .342, 50 R, 79 H, 14 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 47 RBI, 12 SB
    IF - Tim McCabe, West Virginia, Sr. .305, 37 R, 8 2B, 10 HR, 32 RBI, .520 Slug%
    OF - Drew Locke, Boston College, So. .404, 34 R, 16 2B, 24 RBI, .455 OBP, .560 Slug%
    OF - Jeff Frazier, Rutgers, So. .356, 45 R, 13 HR, 54 RBI, .439 OBP, .596 Slug%
    OF - Casey Grimm, Seton Hall, Sr. .363, 25 R, 6 HR, 38 RBI, .490 OBP, .548 Slug%
    OF - Chris Graziano, Villanova, Sr. .270, 38 R, 9 2B, 4 3B, 20 RBI, 38 SB
    DH - Vinnie Scavone, Boston College, Sr. .287, 40 R, 10 2B, 10 HR, 42 RBI, .495 Slug%
    U - Peter Soteropoulos, Connecticut, So. .374, 43 R, 71 H, 46 RBI, .463 OBP, .500 Slug%
         
    ** - unanimous selection
    A tie created additional infield and outfield positions.

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