College Preview

College 2006: By The Numbers




1995: The last time Stephen F. Austin sponsored baseball, which returns to the school’s campus in Nacogdoches, Texas, this season. The Lumberjacks will play a full Southland Conference schedule. Kennesaw State and North Florida are also new Division I schools this season, with each moving from Division II to the Atlantic Sun.

11: The nation’s longest active winning streak, which belongs to Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri State) and not national champion Texas. The Longhorns won their last seven games to end the year, but the Bears won 11 straight and 12 of their last 13. However, that couldn’t overcome a 14-28 start, and Missouri State missed the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

15 and 1,215: Receiving touchdowns and yardage by Notre Dame’s Jeff Samardzija, which both ranked second in NCAA Division I. The 6-foot-6 junior plays wide receiver for the Irish football team, and as a righthander with a 90 mph fastball, should be a member of the weekend rotation.

4: Strikeouts for New York Tech’s Mike MacMillan in 143 at-bats as a junior last year, when he hit .308. His average of one strikeout every 36.5 at-bats led Division I by more than 10 at-bats.

6: Returning pitchers who won 12 games last season. Eight pitchers entered 2005 with 12 or more wins.

Dallas Buck, Oregon State (12-1, 2.09)
Johnny Dorn, Nebraska (12-2, 2.16)
Ian Kennedy, Southern California (12-3, 2.43)
Kyle McCulloch, Texas (12-4, 2.94)
Scott Reese, Creighton (12-0, 2.85)
Luke Trubee, Dayton (12-3, 2.91)

9: Freshmen on BA’s Preseason All-America teams since scouting directors began voting in 1983. Texas’ Jordan Danks makes the third team as an outfielder this season. The others:

Matt Macri, ss, Notre Dame (2003 third team)
Troy Glaus, 3b, UCLA (1995 first team)
Calvin Murray, of, Texas (1990 second team)
Todd Steverson, of, Arizona State (1990 second team)
Robert Eenhoorn, 2b, Davidson (1990 third team)
Rick Lantrip, ss, Arizona (1988 third team)
Mike Mussina, rhp, Stanford (1988 third team)
Greg McMurtry, of, Michigan (1987 second team)

1990, 2003: Years Miami has started a season unranked since Baseball America’s preseason Top 25 rankings began in 1981. The Hurricanes are in the same position this year, and will try to replicate the ’03 season, when they advanced to the College World Series.

25: Consecutive years Stanford appeared in the preseason Top 25 rankings, from 1981-2005—the entire history of BA’s rankings. That streak ends this season. Arizona State now owns the longest streak at 20 seasons, from 1987-2006.

28: Coaching changes since the end of the 2005 season, including new faces in big places such as Texas A&M (Rob Childress, late of Nebraska) and Oklahoma (Sunny Golloway, an assistant elevated after Larry Cochell’s resignation). Also, Skip Wilson won’t be in the Temple dugout for the first time in 46 years, and Itch Jones retired after 36 years at Illinois and Southern Illinois.

43: Percentage of 30 NCAA Division I conferences that have added and/or lost members since last season with 19 schools moving in or out of 13 conferences.

7: Number of teams to repeat as College World Series champions, something preseason No. 1 Texas will attempt this season. That figure includes four repeats by Southern California, which won five titles in a row from 1970-74.

25: Wins Ron Polk needs to become the eighth coach in Division I history to reach the 1,300-win mark. Polk, 62, is 1,275-512 in 32 seasons, 26 of them at Mississippi State. He won his first Southeastern Conference tournament at MSU in 16 seasons last year with an undefeated run capped by a championship-game win against rival Mississippi.

26: Consecutive road games Maine will play to start its season before its home opener April 13 against Stony Brook. The Black Bears open Feb. 24 with three games at Mississippi, a series scheduled after Maine enjoyed itself so much as a participant in the 2005 Oxford Regional, and then play 13 straight games in Florida.

.448: Batting average of Davidson’s Jay Heafner in 2005, which ranked first among all players with more than 150 at-bats. (Alcorn State’s Corey Wimberly hit .462 in 132 at-bats to top the NCAA’s official list of batting leaders.) Heafner also slugged .700 with a .533 on-base percentage. He returns for his senior season and moves from third base to shortstop.