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Tickets To Paradise

Aaron Fitt -

College baseball is in the midst of a huge boom in ballpark construction projects. Just over the last two years, nine major projects (all reaching eight figures in total cost) have come to fruition. Some schools opt for massive renovations, while others choose to tear down their old stadiums and start from scratch. But deciding whether to renovate or build new is just the start of the process. For detail-oriented coaches, stadium projects are a labor of love. Countless choices, big and small, must be made before a sparkling new facility becomes a reality.

College | #2009#Season Preview

Small Ball Master

Heather Gripp -

The garage door didn't stand a chance. Opposing baseball teams often don't fare much better. Ever since he began the childhood routine of throwing a tennis ball against the family's garage door, racing to retrieve the ball at various angles and quickly getting off the return throw that would start the cycle all over again, Ben Orloff has been devoted to perfecting the little things in baseball.

College | #2009#Season Preview

Coming Into His Own

Paul Strelow -Premium Content

It never took acquaintances long to make the connection between Clemson first baseman Ben Paulsen and his dad, assistant coach Tom Riginos. A regional crosschecker showed up at one of Paulsen's high school games a few years ago and immediately phoned Riginos. When a couple of Paulsen's prep teammates went on unofficial recruiting visits to Clemson, they figured out the link just by witnessing Riginos' unmistakable gait. They use comparable facial expressions as they talk in an unwavering, hushed tone. Somehow they even write the same—small and sloppy.

College | #2009#Season Preview

Making Some Noise

Conor Glassey -

The numbers he put up last season make him seem almost superhuman. But Indiana catcher Josh Phegley is a lot more Clark Kent than he is Superman. Sure, the junior first-team All-American had a breakout season last year, but it hasn't gone to his head. He still has that "Aw, shucks" Midwest humility.

College | #2009#Season Preview

Added Attention

Jesse Burkhart -

Prior to last summer, Ben Tootle knew what he wanted his life after baseball to look like. A biology major with medical school aspirations, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound righthander envisioned himself becoming the next Dr. James Andrews after his career at Jacksonville State came to a close. If Tootle wasn't going to pitch at the next level, he was going to make sure that others could. Now he's has to change those plans.

College | #2009#Season Preview

Growing Up

Jim Shonerd -

When a program is trying to put itself on the college baseball map, producing a first-round pick in the draft is a good way to do it. Kennesaw State hopes junior righthander Kyle Heckathorn gives its program just such a boost.

College | #2009#Season Preview