Feb. 15, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The University of Michigan baseball team has been picked to finish second in the 2011 Big Ten Preseason Coaches' poll, released today (Tuesday, Feb. 15) by the conference office. In addition to the inaugural coaches' poll, sophomores Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child), Bobby Brosnahan (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Central) have been named Players to Watch for the 2011 campaign.
The Big Ten released the top six teams as voted on by the 11 conference coaches. Minnesota was picked as the conference favorite after winning the 2010 title. Michigan was second, followed by Indiana, Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State.
Biondi comes back for his sophomore season after hitting .313 with 11 doubles, six triples and 30 runs batted in for U-M his freshman year. Biondi set the Michigan freshman record for both stolen bases (29) and runs scored (69) in 2010 and earned Big Ten All-Freshman team honors. Biondi also was named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Ping! Baseball.
Brosnahan went 5-4 with a 4.38 earned-run average in his redshirt freshman season for the Wolverines in 2010. He appeared in 16 games for the Wolverines with 11 starts, striking out 61 batters in 72 innings pitched. Brosnahan was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team after striking out five in 6.1 innings pitched against Minnesota. He also was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
Dennis hit .267 with five doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI for the Wolverines his freshman season. Dennis started 52 games for Michigan in 2010 and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. He also was a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run in the Big Ten Tournament against Iowa and set a career high with four RBI against Fordham. Dennis joined Biondi on Perfect Game USA's Preseason All-Big Ten team for 2011.
Michigan opens the 2011 season Friday (Feb. 18) against No. 21 Louisville as part of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. The game will take place at 4 p.m. at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
2011 BIG TEN BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL (top six teams)
2011 BIG TEN BASEBALL PLAYERS TO WATCH
Willie Argo, Jr., CF, Illinois
Adam Davis, Jr., C, Illinois
Kevin Johnson, So., SP, Illinois
Joey DeNato, Fr., SP, Indiana
Alex Dickerson, Jr., OF, Indiana
Jerrud Sabourin, Sr., 1B, Indiana
Jarred Hippen, Jr., SP, Iowa
Kevin Lee, Sr., RP, Iowa
Zach McCool, Sr., 3B, Iowa
Patrick Biondi, So., OF, Michigan
Bobby Brosnahan, So., SP, Michigan
Derek Dennis, So., SS, Michigan
Torsten Boss, So., 3B, Michigan State
Jeff Holm, Sr., 1B, Michigan State
Ryan Jones, So., 2B, Michigan State
Justin Gominsky, So., OF, Minnesota
Scott Matyas, Sr., RP, Minnesota
TJ Oakes, So., SP, Minnesota
Chris Lashmet, Sr., 3B, Northwestern
Paul Snieder, Jr., RP/DH, Northwestern
Trevor Stevens, Jr., IF/OF, Northwestern
Brian DeLucia, Sr., OF, Ohio State
Josh Dezse, Fr., 1B/RP, Ohio State
Drew Rucinski, Sr., SP, Ohio State
Joe DeBernardis, Jr., 1B, Penn State
Heath Johnson, Sr., SP, Penn State
Jordan Steranka, Jr., 3B, Penn State
Cameron Perkins, So., 3B, Purdue
Kevin Plawecki, So., C, Purdue
Brad Schreiber, So., SP/DH, Purdue
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423