(Originally posted on ArkansasRazorbacks.com by Chad Crunk, Athletic Media Relations)
FAYETTEVILLE – A trio of sophomores from the No. 4 Arkansas Razorback baseball team were named preseason All-Americans by Baseball America, it was recently announced.
Nolan Sanburn, Dominic Ficociello and Ryne Stanek were each selected for the teams, which are voted on by Major League Baseball scouting directors. Sanburn was a first-team selection, while Ficociello and Stanek were each picked for the third team.
A native of Kokomo, Ind., Sanburn led the Razorbacks and ranked sixth in the Southeastern Conference with eight saves last season. A Collegiate Baseball freshman All-America in 2011, Sanburn finished his rookie season with a 2-4 record and a 3.62 ERA in 24 relief appearances. Sanburn, who was drafted in the 34th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers, struck out 35 batters in 32.1 innings and held opposing hitters to a .239 batting average last season. Sanburn is on the preseason watch list for the 2012 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, which goes to the top relief pitcher in the nation.
A 23rd round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 2010 MLB Draft, Ficociello led the Arkansas offense with a .335 batting average with four homers and a team-high 50 RBI in 2011. A native of Fullerton, Calif., Ficociello also led the Razorbacks in hits (75), doubles (15), multi-hit games (20) and multi-RBI games (14). Ficociello’s 75 hits tied an Arkansas freshman single-season record. Following the season, Ficociello was named a consensus freshman All-American. An All-SEC Freshman Team selection, Ficociello hit .314 with two homers and 18 RBI against league competition. Defensively, Ficociello finished the season with a .968 fielding percentage en route to being named to the All-SEC Defensive Team.
A native of Overland Park, Kan., Stanek appeared in 15 games, including 12 starts, in his freshman season and finished the year with a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.94 ERA. Stanek, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft, had his two best outings of the 2011 season in the postseason. In the SEC Tournament against Alabama, Stanek gave up just one run on two hits and struck out five in 7.2 innings to earn the win. A week later in the NCAA Tempe Regional, Stanek picked up his first complete game, going the distance against New Mexico and allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with a career-high tying six strikeouts.
The Razorbacks open the 2012 season on Friday, February 17, at 3:05 p.m. against Villanova at Baum Stadium. Season tickets for Arkansas’ 36-game home schedule are now on sale. Season tickets are $190 for adults and $140 for University of Arkansas staff, youth and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.