DURHAM, N.C.--Division I's all-time batting champion, Southern second baseman Rickie Weeks, heads up Baseball America's 2003 All-America first team. Weeks and fellow Louisiana collegian Michael Aubrey of Tulane are the only preseason All-Americans--selected by major league scouting directors--to make the final All-America team.
Weeks was an easy choice at second base, leading Division I in hitting for the second straight season and finishing with a career average above .470. Weeks also helped Southern to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, and led the Jaguars to an upset win against host Southern Mississippi in the regional opener. Aubrey, Weeks' former teammate with Team USA, played the season at first base after having been named to the preseason club as an outfielder.
Sophomores dominated the All-America pitching staff, led by the Rice duo of Jeff Niemann and Wade Townsend. In addition to leading the Owls to the College World Series and national championship series, Niemann and Townsend both earned first-team honors as starters, alongside sophomores Jered Weaver of Long Beach State and closer Ryan Wagner of cross-town rival Houston. The lone junior to make the first-team pitching staff was South Carolina lefthander David Marchbanks, who was the Southeastern Conference's player of the year.
The Big 12 took top honors among conferences with three first-team members: outfielders Dustin Majewski of Texas and David Murphy of Baylor, as well as two-way talent Scott Beerer of Texas A&M, who was named the first-team utility player. The SEC (Marchbanks and LSU infielder Aaron Hill) was one of four conferences with two players on the team.
One of the others was the Mid-American Conference, which placed Ball State outfielder Brad Snyder and Toledo catcher Mitch Maier (named as the DH), on the first team. Conference USA had two representatives in Aubrey and Wagner, while Rice's duo represented the Western Athletic Conference.