Dec. 18, 2013
IRVING, Tex. - Junior pitcher Zech Lemond has been named a preseason All-America selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), the organization announced on Wednesday (Dec. 18).
Lemond was named to the NCBWA's 2014 Preseason All-America third team. A year ago Lemond finished as the Conference USA co-leader with 14 saves while posting a 7-2 record, 2.02 ERA and 1.018 WHIP. The right-hander from Houston (Waltrip High School) struck out 71 in 75.2 innings and held opponents to a composite .207 batting average. C-USA head coaches voted Lemond as a first team all-conference reliever and he went on to earn all-region honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association. His 14 saves set the new Rice single season record, eclipsing the Owls' previous mark that was shared by eventual major leaguers David Aardsma and Tony Cingrani.
Under the direction of head coach Wayne Graham, Rice baseball has made 19-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and won 18-straight conference championships - including titles that were won in the regular season and/or conference tournament. The Blue & Gray won both the Conference USA regular season and tournament championships in 2013.
The 2014 Owls return six offensive starters in the batting order and ten veteran pitchers who helped lead last year's squad to a 44-20 overall record. Rice opens the 2014 regular season on the road against national powerhouse Stanford with a three-game weekend series in Palo Alto, Calif., on Feb. 14-16.