Jan. 25, 2000
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane sophomore James Jurries was named the 2000 Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year the league announced on Tuesday. The Green Wave placed four players on the preseason all-conference team and was picked to finish second in the conference.
The 1999 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Jurries received preseason All-American Honors from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). A native of Lake Jackson, Texas, Jurries finished 13th in the nation in runs scored, averaging 1.38 per game. He also led Conference USA in total bases (194) and runs scored (90) and rounded out the top five in slugging percentage (.698), hits (104), RBI (79), home runs (20) and doubles (22).
Along with Jurries, RHP Henry Bonilla, RHP Brandon Belanger, and shortstop Andy Cannizaro were named to the All-Conference USA Preseason Team. Bonilla, a senior from Reno, Nev., finished the 1999 season 11-1, recorded a 3.34 ERA and led the league in strikeouts (131) and innings pitched (124). He was undefeated in C-USA play (6-0). Bonilla was named a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American.
Belanger, a senior closer from Houma, La., was named a Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Preseason All-American. He set a school record with 16 saves, and recorded a Conference USA leading 2.45 ERA. He also set the Tulane single season record with 41 appearances.
Cannizaro, a junior from Mandeville, La., hit .370 in 1999 with 14 doubles and a conference leading 31 stolen bases. Last season, Cannizaro recorded a .949 fielding percentage at shortstop.
Tulane was picked to finish second behind C-USA preseason favorite Houston. Southern Miss, Louisville and South Florida round out the top five, respectively.
Tulane begins the 2000 baseball season on Friday, February 11, at Turchin Stadium with a three game series against San Diego State University. The Green Wave opens Conference USA play on March 17t, with a home weekend series against Louisville.
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH 1. Houston 2. Tulane 3. Southern Miss 4. Louisville 5. South Florida 6. UNC Charlotte 7. Cincinnati 8. Memphis 9. UAB 10. Saint Louis PLAYER OF THE YEAR James Jurries, Tulane (Sophomore, Second Baseman) PITCHER OF THE YEAR Kyle Crowell, Houston (Junior, Righthander) ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM P Henry Bonilla, Sr., Tulane P Kyle Crowell, Jr., Houston P Brion Treadway, Jr., UNC Charlotte P Brandon Belanger, Sr., Tulane C Jarrod Bitter, Jr., Houston IF Andy Cannizaro, Jr., Tulane IF Brandon Caraway, Sr., Houston IF James Jurries, So., Tulane IF Kevin Youkilis, Jr., Cincinnati OF Daniel Boyd, Jr., South Florida OF Dusty Haley, Jr., Southern Miss OF Matt Singer, Jr., Cincinnati DH Darren Welch, So., Southern Miss