XU Head Coach John Morrey will lead the Musketeers in his 12th season at Xavier and 25th overall as a collegiate coach. Last year, the Musketeers finished third in both the A-10 West Regular Season race and postseason tournament behind nationally ranked Richmond.
This season, the Musketeers are picked to place third behind the defending champion Spiders and George Washington by both publications.
Baseball America also chose juniors Jay Johnson and Brett Smith as well as freshman Drew Roberts for preseason accolades.
Johnson, a 6-1 righthanded outfielder, was selected as the fastest runner in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Last season, Johnson, a native of Crestview Hills, Ky., stole 19 bases and has 30 stolen bases to his credit in just two seasons at XU. The 2001 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and 2002 Second Team All-Conference selection was also selected as a Preseason All-Conference pick in the outfield and one of the Top 10 Pro Prospects in the A-10.
Smith, a 6-2 righthanded shortstop, was selected to have the best infield arm in the Atlantic 10. The junior from Cincinnati's Country Day School has played in 106 of a possible 109 games in the past two seasons and last year tied for the team lead in home runs (4) while ranking second in stolen bases (8) and fourth in RBI (27).
Freshman outfielder Drew Roberts was picked as the Preseason Freshman of the Year in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Roberts, a 6-1 righthander from Cincinnati's Sycamore High School, earned All-Conference honors as a both academically and athletically while also being honored as the Team MVP and best offensive player in high school.
The 2004 Xavier baseball season begins Feb. 21-22 as the Musketeers travel to Johnson City, Tenn. to take on East Tennessee State in a three-game series.