LSU's Gausman is honored

DURHAM, N.C. — LSU sophomore pitcher Kevin Gausman was named Monday to the 2012 Baseball America magazine First-Team Preseason All-America squad.

Gausman, a native of Centennial, Colo., was the sixth-round draft choice in 2010 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he was named the No. 4 top prospect on the USA Collegiate National team last summer by Baseball America.

He started 14 games for LSU last season as a freshman, posting a 5-6 mark and a 3.51 ERA in 89.2 innings with 23 walks and 86 strikeouts. He recorded a 3-1 mark with a 1.17 ERA in his final four starts of the year, recording five walks and 32 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.

Gausman finished No. 8 in the SEC in strikeouts, and he posted a career-best 10 strikeouts on May 7 at Alabama. He was No. 5 in the Southeastern Conference in opponent batting average (.215) and No. 9 in the league in hits allowed (70).

Gausman was named SEC Freshman of the Week in May 2010 after blanking Tennessee. He limited the Vols to just four hits while recording no walks and seven strikeouts.

He also was named SEC Freshman of the Week in May 2010 after defeating Kentucky in late April, limiting the Wildcats to one run on two hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts.

Gausman is scheduled to be LSU’s starting pitcher at 7 p.m. Friday when the Tigers open the 2012 season versus Air Force in Alex Box Stadium.

Top-ranked Florida leads all teams with seven players on Baseball America’s college preseason All-America teams. Catcher Mike Zunino and two-way talent Brian Johnson represent the Gators on the first team, while outfielder Preston Tucker, two-way player Austin Maddox and righthander Hudson Randall made the second team and shortstop Nolan Fontana and righty Karsten Whitson appear on the third team. Counting Johnson, Florida’s entire weekend rotation is composed of preseason All-Americans. No team in recent years has produced more than four preseason All-Americans. The only team in the last decade to get close to matching Florida was Stanford in 2002, with six preseason All-Americans.

Baseball America annually polls major league scouting directors to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential. In the past, the preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success. For example, nine of the 14 draft-eligible members of last year’s first team became first-round picks last June, and the other five were all selected inside the top four rounds. Each of the first seven players drafted out of four-year colleges last spring — and 12 of the first 13 — appeared on one of BA’s three preseason All-America teams heading into the season.

There are six repeat members of BA’s preseason All-America teams. Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero and Stanford righthander Mark Appel each moved up from the second team last year to the first team this year, while Johnson jumps from last year’s third team to this year’s first team. Two members of last year’s first team — catcher Peter O’Brien (who transferred from Bethune-Cookman to Miami) and Stanford shortstop Kenny Diekroeger — made this year’s team as members of the third and second teams, respectively. Tucker repeated as a second-teamer.

Marrero was the only unanimous first-team selection. Appel and Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache each appeared on the ballots of all 17 scouting directors who voted, but each received one second-team vote and 16 first-team votes. Zunino also appeared on every ballot but had two second-team votes.

Second-ranked Stanford, No. 4 Arkansas and No. 17 Arizona State each landed three players on the All-America teams, tied for second-most behind Florida. The Cardinal (Appel and third baseman Stephen Piscotty) and Georgia Southern (Roache and righthander Chris Beck) were the only teams other than Florida to produce multiple first-teamers.

The SEC placed 12 players on the three All-America teams, most of any league. The Atlantic Coast and Pacific-12 conferences were next with seven selections apiece.

As a testament to the strong talent in the mid-major conferences, 15 different leagues are represented on the three All-America teams. The others are the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Southern, Sun Belt and West Coast conferences.

First Team

C: Mike Zunino, Florida

1B: Adam Brett Walker, Jacksonville

2B: Tony Renda, California

3B: Stephen Piscotty, Stanford

SS: Deven Marrero, Arizona State

OF: Travis Jankowski, Stony Brook

OF: Tyler Naquin, Texas A&M

OF: Victor Roache, Georgia Southern

DH: Richie Shaffer, Clemson

UT: Brian Johnson, Florida

SP: Mark Appel, Stanford

SP: Chris Beck, Georgia Southern

SP: Kevin Gausman, LSU

SP: Marcus Stroman, Duke

RP: Nolan Sanburn, Arkansas

UT: Brian Johnson, Florida

Second Team

C: Josh Elander, Texas Christian

1B: Christian Walker, South Carolina

2B: L.J. Mazzilli, Connecticut

3B: Colin Moran, North Carolina

SS: Kenny Diekroeger, Stanford

OF: Jeremy Baltz, St. John’s

OF: James Ramsey, Florida State

OF: Preston Tucker, Florida

DH: Patrick Wisdom, St. Mary’s

UT: Austin Maddox, Florida

SP: Jake Barrett, Arizona State

SP: Hudson Randall, Florida

SP: Michael Wacha, Texas A&M

SP: Kyle Zimmer, San Francisco

RP: Lex Rutledge, Samford

UT: Austin Maddox, Florida

Third Team

C: Tom Murphy, Buffalo

1B: Dominic Ficociello, Arkansas

2B: Micah Johnson, Indiana

3B: Kris Bryant, San Diego

SS: Nolan Fontana, Florida

OF: Barrett Barnes, Texas Tech

OF: Michael Lorenzen, Cal State Fullerton

OF: Brandon Thomas, Georgia Tech

DH: Peter O’Brien, Miami

UT: J.T. Chargois, Rice

SP: Branden Kline, Virginia

SP: Brady Rodgers, Arizona State

SP: Ryne Stanek, Arkansas

SP: Karsten Whitson, Florida

RP: R.J. Alvarez, Florida Atlantic

UT: J.T. Chargois, Rice

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