Jan. 2, 2004
Notre Dame senior second baseman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) has received preseason second team All-America honors from Baseball America magazine, completing unanimous preseason All-America honors for Sollmann from the three major organizations that announce such preseason honors. Sollmann – one of just two seniors among the 45 total players who received Baseball America preseason All-America honors – earlier was named a preseason first team All-American by both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America and Collegiate Baseball Magazine.
Sollmann joins just three other position players – Stanford outfielder Sam Fuld, USC catcher Jeff Clement and Arizona State first baseman/outfielder Jeff Larish – as the elite foursome who were named first- or second-team preseason All-Americans by all three organizations. His 2003 honors included second team All-America from the American Baseball Coaches Association and third-team honors from the NCBWA. He also was a CoSIDA second team Academic All-American. (Note: the ABCA does not name a preseason All-America team and neither does USA Today, which sponsors the weekly coaches poll … both organizations name All-Americans at the end of each season).
The Baseball America preseason All-America teams are based on input from Major League scouting directors, recognizing performance, talent and Major League potential.
Sollmann takes a .370 career batting average into the 2004 season, with his All-America ’03 season including 38 stolen bases (ranking 7th in the nation). The 5-11, 195-pound righthanded batter finished ’03 as the BIG EAST overall leader in hits (98; 4th-most in ND history), runs scored (67) and total bases (136), also ranking 2nd among BIG EAST players in SBs, triples (5) and 7th in batting average (.384; 27th in ND history). He closed the ’03 season with a 13-game hitting streak (two shy of his career-best streak earlier in ’03), including a 10-for-17 showing at the NCAA Fullerton Regional.
In addition to Sollmann, Fuld, Clement and Larish, 10 other position players were named preseason first or second team All-Americans by two of the three organizations: South Carolina C Landon Powell, New Mexico State 1B Billy Becher, Georgia Tech 2B Eric Patterson, Arizona State SS Dustin Pedroia, Florida State SS Stephen Drew, Baylor 3B Michael Griffin, Lamar OF Jordan Foster, LSU OF Ryan Patterson, Rutgers OF Jeff Frazier and Wichita State OF Drew Moffitt.
Sollmann and Frazier give the BIG EAST Conference two of the 14 players listed above, with only the Pacific-10 Conference (4) featuring more players among the 14 who were named first or second team All-America on at least two of the preseason lists.
Sollmann joined Florida outfielder Ben Harrison (a third-teamer) as the only seniors among the 45 total players named to the BA preseason All-America team.
In addtion to Frazier, two other players from Notre Dame’s 2004 opponents were named to the Baseball America preseason All-America teams: Boston College righthander Chris Lambert and USC first baseman Joey Metropoulos (both third-teamers).
Other opposing players who previously received preseason All-America honors include: St. John’s SS Mike Rozema, Seton Hall lefthanded reliever Chris Noonan (NCBWA 3rd team), Minnesota LHP Glen Perkins and OF Sam Stedl, Arizona OF Jeff Van Houten, Louisville OF Mark Jurich and the Florida Atlantic trio of LHP Randy Beam, Jeff Fiorentino and 1B Rusty Baron.
Here are links to the preseason polls and All-America teams that have been released as of Jan. 2:
Here are updated bio. notes on Sollmann:
Steve Sollmann (Sr., 2B; Cincinnati, Ohio) – Team tri-captain and co-MVP in ’03, when he moved to leadoff spot and became 6th ND player ever to receive three-plus all-BIG EAST Conference honors (1st team in ’01, 2nd team in ’02, ’03) … his top ’03 honors included 2nd team All-America from the American Baseball Coaches Association and 3rd team from Baseball Writers … joined SS Rich Gonski (’64) as only ND middle IF ever named All-America … one of 42 all-time ND student-athletes to be named All-America and Academic All-America in same year (Dan Peltier and J.P. Gagne are the other ND baseball players so honored) … already holds some impressive spots in the ND career record book: 5th in career batting avg. (.370, behind Peltier’s .406, Eric Danapilis’ .405, Steve Stanley’s .384 and his brother Scott Sollmann’s .372), 5th in fielding assists (501; 118 shy of J.J. Brock’s record), 6th in stolen bases (67, behind Stanley’s 116, his brother’s 101, Pat Pesavento’s 94, Greg Layson’s 80 and Dan Bautch’s 68), 8th in hits (255; could become 2nd with 300-plus) … his 172 runs scored rank 11th in the ND record book (could become 3rd with 220-plus) while his 11 triples also rank 11th (just two have 15-plus, including his brother’s record 24) … his 123 career RBI are 43 shy of that ND top-10 list while his 33 doubles leave him 16 short of that ND top-10 … needs to start 51 games in ’04 to become 4th ND player with 230-plus (179) and could became 2nd to appear in 240-plus games (181) … also has racked up 343 career total bases (could be 4th with 450-plus), 77 walks (needs 32 for top-10) and 16 sacrifice bunts (3 for top-10) … his 38 stolen bases in ’03 ranked 7th in nation behind five OFs – Coastal Carolina’s Ryan McGraw (63), Eastern Kentucky’s Josh Anderson (57), Bethune-Cookman’s Sebastian Boucher (48), Tulane’s Jonny Kaplan (48) and Miami’s Danny Figueroa (40) – and fellow BIG EAST 2B Graig Badger of Rutgers (41) … finished ’03 as BIG EAST overall leader in hits (98; 4th in ND history), runs (67) and TBs (136), ranking 2nd among BIG EAST players in 3Bs (5) and 7th in batting (.384; 27th in ND history) … closed ’03 with 13-game hit streak (two shy of career-best streak earlier in ’03), including 10-for-17 showing at NCAA Fullerton Regional … owns .487 career batting avg. in NCAAs (38-for-78 in 18 GP), including .697 (23-for-33) in ND’s last two NCAA Regional tournaments … named Verizon CoSIDA 2nd team Academic All-American, with 3.30 cumulative GPA as marketing major … in addition to above stats, finished 2nd on ’03 team in 2Bs (16), slugging (.533), on-base (.438) and walks (25), and 3rd in HRs (4) and RBI (40) … his other ’03 stats included one time hit-by-pitch, more walks (25) than Ks (23), 2 sac. flies, 4 sac. bunts and just 8 errors in 310 fielding chances (.974 fielding pct.) as key member of defense that set ND record for season fielding pct. (.970, also 21st in nation in ’03; with Sollmann having a hand in 41 of 57 double plays) … posted team-best .550 leadoff OB pct. and ranked 2nd on team in batting with runners in scoring position (.373) while owning team’s 4th-best 2-out batting (.254, 13 RBI with 2 outs) … grounded into just 2 double plays, advanced baserunners 58% of the time (3rd-best on team) and posted nearly identical batting averages vs. LHPs (.388) and RHPs (.383) … rare junior-year recipient of ND’s Francis Patrick O’Connor Award (recognizing student-athletes who most embody “team spirit, inspiration, courage,” etc.) and became first player ever named BIG EAST player of the week three times in the same season (also tying BIG EAST career mark) … selected in 32nd round of 2003MLB draft by Oakland A’s.