Kansas Baseball Earns Preseason Honors

Dec. 21, 2009

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The Kansas baseball team has earned a national ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Preseason Top 40, while junior third baseman Tony Thompson has been selected as a Preseason First Team All-American by the same publication and Louisville Slugger.

Kansas will carry a national ranking into the regular season for the first time since 1995, when the team was ranked as high as 22nd. The Jayhawks check into the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top 40 at No. 36, behind Big 12 rivals Texas (No. 1), Oklahoma (No. 25) and Texas A&M (No. 29).

Thompson, a 6-foot-4 junior from Reno, Nev., was named a Preseason Second Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA) last week. The junior won the conference’s triple crown last season, leading the league in batting average (.389), home runs (21) and RBIs (82). He was named an All-American by four different publications following his sophomore season, as well as First Team All-Central Region and First Team All-Big 12.

He ranked third in Division I baseball in doubles (27), fourth in total bases (186), as well as seventh in RBIs. As a sophomore, he set single-season Jayhawk records in home runs and total bases, and ranked second in Kansas history in hits (96), doubles and RBIs.

He was joined on the first team by Texas junior pitchers Taylor Jungman and Chance Ruffin.

Thompson became the first Jayhawk to earn preseason All-America honors since Ryan Baty in 2004.

Kansas is looking to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1993-94, and just the second time in school history. Last year the Jayhawks finished with a record of 39-24 and advanced to the Chapel Hill Region finals, falling to eventual College World Series participant, North Carolina.

Kansas opens the 2010 season against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 19 at Hoglund Ballpark.