Jan. 2, 2003
The 2003 Notre Dame baseball team is listed 12th in the Baseball America preseason rankings, after earning an earlier ranking of 19th by Collegiate Baseball magazine.
Baseball America also tabbed Notre Dame sophomore shortstop Matt Macri (Clive, Iowa) as a preseason third team All-American, with the BA preseason teams again determined primarily by input from Major League scouting directors. Macri – a highly-touted prep baseball and football performer at Dowling High School – saw most of his freshman season cut short by an elbow injury that ultimately required “Tommy John” reconstructive surgery. The 6-2, 195-pound righthanded hitter is expected to play a lead role in Notre Dame’s 2003 season, as the everyday shortstop and probable No. 3 hitter in the Irish lineup. Florida State sophomore Stephen Drew and LSU junior Aaron Hill were the first and second-team shortstops on the BA preseason teams.
An unprecedented three Notre Dame players now have received 2003 preseason All-America honors. Junior second baseman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) was dubbed a preseason second team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association while sophomore righthander Grant Johnson (Burr Ridge, Ill.) was a third-team pick on both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball preseason All-American teams.
Notre Dame – which returns four position starters and the bulk of its nationally-ranked pitching staff from the 2002 College World Series team – will play four early-season games versus teams ranked in the BA’ preseason top 20: No. 7 Wake Forest (March 2), 8th-ranked Arizona State (Feb. 22-23) and No. 20 Nebraska (Feb. 28).
Four players from teams on Notre Dame’s 2003 schedule joined Macri on the BAI preseason All-American teams. Wake Forest junior righthander Kyle Sleeth was one of five pitchers named to the first team while Vanderbilt sophomore lefthander Jeremy Sowers was a second-team pick (Sleeth and Sowers are former teammates of Johnson’s with the U.S. National Team program). Wake Forest third baseman Jamie D’Antona was a third-team selection, as was Arizona State junior outfielder Rod Allen.
See www.baseballamerica.com for more information on the magazine’s preseason polls and All-America teams.
Baseball America Preseason College Top 25
|Team||W-L||’02 Final Rank|
|13.||Cal State Fullerton||37-22||NR|
|16.||Long Beach State||39-21||21|