Perhaps not surprisingly considering the program's recent success at the national level, expectations remain high for the Linfield baseball team heading into the 2012 season. This time around, the Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association/D3baseball.com preseason poll, released Monday, and two players have been named to the preseason All-America squad.
Outfielder Tim Wilson and pitching ace Ryan Larson were each named to the second team. Statistically speaking, Wilson is Linfield’s top returning offensive weapon. He hit .490 as a rookie last year, including .667 in the postseason. Larson posted a 2.09 ERA and 7-3 record while throwing for a team-high 71 strikeouts in his junior campaign.
This year, the Wildcats will also benefit from the return of 2010 All-American Zach Boskovich, who missed nearly all of last season due to injury.
Linfield is coming off its second consecutive playoff appearance. Last year’s club finished second at the regional tournament and finished with a 33-11 overall win-loss record (20-4 NWC). The team peaked at No. 3 in the national polls – matching program high – before finishing ninth in the final rankings.
The Wildcats are the sole representatives of the Northwest Conference in the preseason poll. Marietta, winner of the 2011 NCAA Division III Championship, was pegged as the No. 1 team after receiving all 25 possible first-place votes.
The D3baseball.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of coaches, sports information directors and media members from across the country.
Linfield's season kicks off Feb. 16 against McMurry University, the first of four nonconference games scheduled in Anthem, Ariz.
Ryan Larson and Tim Wilson
All-West Region All-Stars
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128