Dec. 17, 2007
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - The UCLA baseball program has been tabbed to finish second among the nine Pac-10 baseball schools by Rivals.com. In the national college baseball website's preseason Pac-10 preview, infielders Alden Carrithers and Brandon Crawford and outfielder Gabe Cohen have been named preseason All-Pac-10 selections.
In addition, Rivals.com lists UCLA as the "Team on the Rise" and hails head coach John Savage as the "Coach on the Rise."
Arizona State, picked to win the Pac-10 Conference, is followed in the rankings by UCLA, Arizona and defending national champion Oregon State. California and USC are rated fifth and sixth. Stanford, Washington and Washington State round out the group of nine.
Rivals.com pegs senior Alden Carrithers a preseason All-Pac-10 second baseman, and junior Brandon Crawford has earned preseason All-Pac-10 accolades as a shortstop. Sophomore right fielder Gabe Cohen has been named one of three preseason All-Pac-10 outfielders, joining Stanford's Sean Ratliff and Arizona State's Ike Davis on the list.
Preseason power rankings (by position), as announced during the fall by Rivals.com, feature six of UCLA's eight position players. Moving around the infield, junior Ryan Babineau has been tabbed the No. 12 catcher and junior Cody Decker is rated the No. 10 first baseman.
Double-play partners Crawford and Carrithers are rated the No. 12 and 13 middle infielders, respectively. Junior Jermaine Curtis has been named the No. 10 third baseman in the country, and sophomore outfielder Gabe Cohen checks in as the No. 7 outfielder.
Rivals.com lists Savage among the top-15 head coaches in college baseball.
UCLA opens its season with a three-game series against Oklahoma on Friday, Feb. 22 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.