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January 12, 2010

Lutes Ranked No. 25 in Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll

Pacific Lutheran opens its spring practice on Wednesday with the No. 25 ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Division III preseason national poll.

"This marks the fourth consecutive year that our program has been ranked in the national polls," eight-year PLU head coach Geoff Loomis said. "We certainly look forward to the task of proving our merit on this list."

The Lutes return five position starters, the top three starting pitchers and the top reliever from the 2009 team that finished with a 31-9 overall record and a Northwest Conference co-championship. PLU has won outright or shared two of the last three NWC titles.

Among the PLU returnees this season are four first team all-conference honorees - third baseman Ben Shively, right fielder Josh Takayoshi, and starting pitchers Robert Bleecker and Trey Watt. Shively broke the PLU single-season record with 51 runs batted in while hitting .440 with six homers, and Takayoshi established a new school record 64 hits and tied the mark of 50 runs scored while hitting .403 with four homers and 44 runs batted in. Bleecker finished the 2009 season with a 9-1 record and a 4.59 earned run average, while Watt was 6-2 with a 4.12 earned run average.

Other starters returning for the 2010 campaign are shortstop Sammy Davis, center fielder Ryan Aratani, second basemen Carl Benton and Corey Moore, starting pitcher Scott Wall and relief pitcher Ryan Frost.

Pacific Lutheran opens its season on Saturday, Feb. 6, when it travels to Lacey to face the Saint Martin's Saints in a doubleheader. The Lutes' home opener comes the following day at noon when they host the Saints.

- PLU -