Kansas City, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced its 2008 Baseball Preseason All-America team. Among the honorees are eleven seniors, three juniors and a sophomore.
Senior first baseman Chris Hardin of Southern Nazarene (Okla.) makes the team after being named a First Team All-American last season. Hardin batted .433 with 25 home runs and 74 runs batted in. Another First Team All-American from last year is pitcher Jesse Bachman. The Spring Arbor (Mich.) junior went 12-1 with a .190 ERA and 101 strikeouts to help lead the Cougars to the national title game. Lubbock Christian (Tex.) selection Buck Britton makes the team after being picked as an All-American Honorable Mention after last season. Britton batted .409, hit nine home runs and drove in 53 runs last year. Fellow All-American Honorable Mention Greg Biagi of Dakota State (S.D.) also makes the Preseason All-American team. Biagi, a senior shortstop stole 19 bases last season and had 53 RBI.
Cumberland (Tenn.) senior third baseman Eric Mull has been named to the team after a stellar junior season. Mull hit .370 with 20 home runs and 86 RBI while patrolling the hot corner for the Bulldogs. Joining Mull is teammate Robert Clayton. Clayton, a senior pitcher went 12-3 last season with a 2.67 ERA on his way to being named an All-American Honorable Mention. Another pair of teammates who made the team are Brent Wyatt and Matt Fitts of Lewis-Clark (Idaho). Wyatt, a senior outfielder batted .357, scored 79 runs and drove in 52 for the Warriors last season. Junior pitcher Matt Fitts went 10-1 with a 2.08 ERA and struck out 75 batters last year. Wyatt and Fitts were integral as the Warriors won the 2007 Avista NAIA World Series.
Bethany (Calif.) outfielder J.P. LaPoint was a Second Team All-American last season. The senior batted .472 with nine home runs and 36 RBI. Brandon Patek of Missouri Baptist and Steve Boldt of Viterbo (Wis.) were both All-American Honorable Mentions last season. Patek batted .427 and drove 53 runs. Boldt stole 36 bases last year and batted .439. Indiana Tech's Eric Ogden has been named to the preseason team as well. The senior catcher belted ten home runs and had 54 RBI on his way to being named an All-American Honorable Mention last season. Brad Robbins of Virginia-Wise makes the team as the Designated Hitter. The junior had a .479 batting average with ten home runs and 37 RBI. Two pitchers round out the team. Bellevue (Neb.) sophomore Nick Love went 13-4 and had 128 strikeouts last year. Texas Wesleyan relief pitcher Hayden Lackey is coming off a season in which he went 4-2 with 14 saves and a 1.62 ERA.
The NAIA Baseball Preseason Top 25 Poll will be released on Nov. 15. For more information on NAIA baseball, check out the national website at www.naia.org.
2008 NAIA Baseball Preseason All-Americans
Player School Pos. Class
Chris Hardin* Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 1B SR
Buck Britton^ Lubbock Christian (Tex.) 2B SR
Eric Mull^ Cumberland (Tenn.) 3B SR
Greg Biagi^ Dakota State (S.D.) SS SR
Eric Ogden^ Embry-Riddle (Fla.) C SR
Brad Robbins Virginia-Wise DH JR
J.P. LaPoint+ Bethany (Calif.) OF SR
Brandon Patek^ Missouri Baptist OF SR
Steven Boldt^ Viterbo (Wis.) OF SR
Brent Wyatt Lewis-Clark (Idaho) OF SR
Jesse Bachman* Spring Arbor (Mich.) SP JR
Matt Fitts^ Lewis-Clark (Idaho) SP JR
Nick Love^ Bellevue (Neb.) SP SO
Robert Clayton^ Cumberland (Tenn.) SP SR
Hayden Lackey^ Texas Wesleyan RP SR
* = 2007 NAIA First Team All-American
^ = 2007 NAIA Second Team All-American
+ = 2007 NAIA All-American Honorable Mention