Conference USA Baseball 2011 Preseason Poll

January 27, 2011
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Rice, Rendon, McInnis Picked For Top Honors…

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Conference USA announced its 2011 preseason baseball awards, as chosen by the league’s nine head coaches. Rice junior third baseman Anthony Rendon was chosen as the preseason Player of the Year, while Southern Miss senior right-hander Todd McInnis was named the preseason Pitcher of the Year. Rendon has been named C-USA Player of the Year each of the last two seasons, while McInnis was the Pitcher of the Year in 2009.

Rendon won the 2010 Dick Howser Trophy as the top player in college baseball. He became just the second player in C-USA history to be named the league’s player of the year in back-to-back seasons. Rendon picked up the honor in 2010 after leading the Owls to the regular season league championship and the school’s 16th-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. Last season, Rendon batted .394 while leading Conference USA in home runs (26). He was among the nation’s leaders in runs scored (83) and walks (65), and drove-in 85 runs in Rice’s 63 games. Rendon maintained an .801 slugging percentage, a .530 on-base percentage, and finished with more home runs (26) than strikeouts (22). Defensively, he had a .973 fielding percentage at third base and started a total of 16 double-plays for the Owls.

McInnis, a first team All-Conference USA selection last year, has a career record of 25-13 with a 3.85 ERA over the previous four seasons. He has struck out 276 hitters while holding opponents to a .255 batting average against. McInnis will have the rare opportunity to play five seasons of collegiate baseball because of the medical redshirt he received in 2007 after pitching in five games before suffering a season-ending injury. The redshirt-senior will have the opportunity to challenge for numerous school records. He is already in the school’s top ten in each of the following categories: wins (second with 25), starts (second with 53), innings pitched (fourth with 296.2), strikeouts (fifth with 276) and decisions (fourth with 38). In 2010, McInnis was 6-5 with a 3.30 ERA and 87 strikeouts with 34 strikeouts in 95.1 innings pitched.

Conference USA’s 16th baseball season gets underway on February 18. The conference tournament is scheduled for May 25-29 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. This will be the first time the tournament will be played at a neutral site, with an eight-team, pool-play format in place. C-USA’s nine baseball schools have produced 64 NCAA appearances and nine College World Series teams over the past 15 seasons.

2011 PRESEASON BASEBALL AWARDS
(as selected by C-USA’s head coaches)

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1.	Rice (6)
2.	Southern Miss (2)
3.	East Carolina
4.	UCF (1)
5.	Tulane
6.	Memphis
7.	Houston
8.	Marshall
9.	UAB
(first place votes in parentheses)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Anthony Rendon, Rice (Junior, Third Baseman)

PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Todd McInnis, Southern Miss (Senior, Right-hander)

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

P	Seth Maness	Sr.	East Carolina
P	Todd McInnis	Sr.	Southern Miss
P	Taylor Wall	Jr.	Rice
RP	Collin Cargill	Sr..	Southern Miss
C	Victor Gomez	Sr.	Marshall
IF	Garrett Cannizaro	So.	Tulane
IF	Anthony Rendon	Jr.	Rice
IF	Corey Thompson	Jr.	East Carolina
IF	B.A. Vollmuth	Jr.	Southern Miss
IF	Chad Zurcher	Jr.	Memphis
OF	Jamal Austin	Jr.	UAB
OF	Drew Martinez	Jr.	Memphis
OF	Trent Whitehead	Sr.	East Carolina
DH/UT	Jeremy Rathjen	Jr.	Rice

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