Baseball Ranked No. 3 Nationally in Baseball America Small College Preview; Thompson Named Second-Best Division II Prospect
Ravens open 2012 campaign Feb. 24-26 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Baseball America placed Thompson as the second-best Division II prospect.
RINDGE, N.H. (February 3, 2012) – The five-time regional champion Franklin Pierce University baseball team has been ranked No. 3 nationally in the Baseball America Small College Preview, as announced Tuesday by the magazine. In addition, Baseball America placed junior right-hander Ryan Thompson (Calgary, Alberta) as the second-best draft prospect in Division II.
Baseball America ranked the top five teams in Division II as part of its annual Small College Preview, which covers Division II, Division III, the NAIA and junior colleges. Only five-time national champion Tampa (36-17 in 2011) and Grand Valley State (52-5) were selected in front of Franklin Pierce (40-14). Rounding out the top five were Francis Marion (41-16) and Winona State (42-18), last season's national runner-up. It is the second straight year the Ravens have been ranked No. 3 by Baseball America, and is the highest preseason mention of the season for Franklin Pierce, which has placed anywhere from seventh to 18th in four other previews/preseason polls. The Ravens will open the season nationally ranked No. 13/15 by the two national polls recognized by the NCAA.
A consensus All-America First Team selection and the consensus East Region Pitcher of the Year in 2011, Thompson put up numbers among the nation's best in his first year on the mound for the Ravens after transferring from the University of Connecticut. His 1.23 earned-run average was good for fifth in the country, while his 11-1 record tied him for eighth in the nation in wins. In addition, Thompson ranked eighth in the country in strikeouts (114), 18th in hits allowed per nine innings (5.97) and 23rd in both walks allowed per nine innings (1.23) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.8). Over the summer, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 36th round (1,109 overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, but elected not to sign with the franchise.
In addition to the consensus East Region Pitcher of the Year and All-America First Team accolades, Thompson was a consensus All-East Region First Team selection, as he earned each of the honors from the NCBWA, the ABCA and Daktronics. Before that, he was pegged as Northeast-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year and was an All-Northeast-10 First Team selection. Thompson was a finalist for College Baseball Lineup's Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year Award and was selected to the inaugural CBL DII All-Star Team. Furthermore, he was an NEIBA All-Star Team selection.
Earlier this week, Thompson was ranked sixth among Division II prospects by Perfect Game USA. In recent weeks, he was also picked to the Preseason All-America First Team by the NCBWA and selected as an East Region Preseason All-American by the ABCA.
Thompson was the only player from an East Region squad listed among the top 10 prospects in Baseball America. The publication tabbed St. Edward's junior right-hander Stephen Johnson, the only prospect ranked higher than Thompson, as its preseason Pitcher of the Year. Francis Marion senior outfielder Buddy Sosnoskie, ninth on the prospect list, was chosen as preseason Pitcher of the Year.
The Ravens open pursuit of their sixth NCAA Regional title with five neutral-site games at The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Feb. 24-26. The team will play a doubleheader against Post on Feb. 24, a twinbill against Chestnut Hill on Feb. 25 and a single game against West Virginia Wesleyan on Feb. 26.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).