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Three Bears Earn All-Region Baseball Selections
July 01, 2002
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WACO, Texas -- Baylor baseball players Ross Bennett, Mike Huggins and Justin Taylor were named to the 2002 Midwest All-Region Team by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). Bennett (designated hitter) and Huggins (first base) earned first-team honors, while Taylor was named to the second team. All three earned all-region honors for the first time in their careers.

The ABCA All-America teams are collegiate baseball's oldest selections, dating to 1949. All Division I coaches have the opportunity to nominate and vote on the selections, which are initially compiled into eight all-region teams. Those selected to the all-region teams are then considered for the all-America team.

A junior first baseman, Huggins was a consensus all-Big 12 first team selection and also was named to the Academic All-Big 12 second team. After finishing third on the team this season with a .338 average and leading the Bears with 10 home runs and 62 RBI, Huggins tied for Larry Isbell Most Valuable Player (team MVP) honors and was selected in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

Bennett led Baylor with a .357 average while appearing in 58 of the Bears' 62 games, primarily at designated hitter. The junior from Cape Girardeau, Mo., was named first-team all-Big 12 by the league's coaches in addition to Academic All-Big 12 first team and Verizon Academic All-District VI honors.

Justin Taylor anchored the Baylor pitching staff in 2002, leading all starters in ERA (3.82) en route to a 9-2 record. Those numbers earned him all-Big 12 first-team selections by the Dallas Morning News, Waco Tribune Herald and the league's coaches. Taylor, a senior from Duncanville, Texas, received the team's Ted Lyons Most Valuable Pitcher award and was selected in the 38th round by the Kansas City Royals.

Baylor finished the 2002 season with a 36-26 record, earning their fifth straight NCAA Tournament selection and advancing to at least the regional championship game for the third time in four years. The Bears fell 2-0 to eventual national champion Texas in the title game of the 2002 NCAA Austin Regional.

2002 ABCA Midwest All-Region Team

First Team
1B: Mike Huggins, Baylor
2B: Tim Moss, Texas & Brian Burgamy, Wichita State
SS: Gera Alvarez, Texas Tech
3B: Jason Simon, No. Iowa
OF: Pat Maloney, Kansas State
OF: Jason Fransz, Oklahoma
OF: Andy Rohleder, Evansville
OF: Jeff Leise, Nebraska
C: Jed Morris, Nebraska
DH: Ross Bennett, Baylor
P: John Tetuan, Wichita State
P: Justin Simmons, Texas
P: Shane Komine, Nebraska
RP: Steve Obenchain, Evansville

Second Team
1B: Jeff Ontiveros, Texas
2B: Jon Peacock, Illinois State
SS: Travis Welsch, No. Iowa
3B: Omar Quintanilla, Texas
OF: Dante Brinkley, SMS
OF: Jon Slack, Texas Tech
OF: Wilton Reynolds, Oral Roberts
OF: Dustin Hawkins, Wichita State
C: David Castillo, Oral Roberts
DH: Drew Moffitt, Wichita State
P: Justin Taylor, Baylor
P: Brad Ziegler, SMS

P: Rene Recio, Oral Roberts
P: Aaron Marsden, Nebraska
RP: Steve Rowe, Texas Tech

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