Collegiate Baseball ranks Kentucky No. 8

December 20, 2012 

Kentucky Coach Gary Henderson met with pitcher Taylor Rogers (34) in a huddle at the mound in the third inning on Thursday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Rogers gave up four runs to Florida, three earned, in six-plus innings. He struck out five and walked two.

PABLO ALCALA | STAFF — Lexington Herald-Leader

  • Collegiate Baseball pre-season poll

    (Teams listed with last season's records)

    1. Arkansas 46-22

    2. North Carolina 46-16

    3. Vanderbilt 35-28

    4. Louisiana State 47-18

    5. UCLA 48-16

    6. Oregon 46-19

    7. South Carolina 49-20

    8. Kentucky 45-18

    9. Stanford 41-18

    10. Oregon State. 40-20

    11. North Carolina State 43-20

    12. San Diego 40-17

    13. Mississippi State. 40-24

    14. Oklahoma 42-25

    15. Texas Christian 40-22)

    16. Arizona State. 36-20

    17. Georgia Tech. 38-26

    18. Arizona 48-17

    19. Florida State. 50-17

    20. Rice 41-19

    21. Texas 30-22

    22. Louisville 41-22

    23. Cal. State Fullerton 36-21

    24. Florida 47-20

    25. Mississippi 37-26

    26. Texas A&M 43-18

    27. Clemson 35-28

    28. Miami, Fla. 36-23

    29. Georgia 31-26

    30. U.C. Irvine 31-25

    31. Missouri State 40-22

    32. Wichita State. 35-25

    33. New Mexico 37-24

    34. Kent State. 47-20

    35. Virginia 39-19-1

    36. Southern Mississippi 32-24

    37. East Carolina 36-24-1

    38. Coastal Carolina 42-19

    39. Dallas Baptist 41-19

    40. Pepperdine 36-23

    Others receiving votes: Central Florida, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Long Beach State, Cal Poly, U.C. Santa Barbara, Tulane, St. John's, South Florida, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Florida Atlantic, College of Charleston, Fresno State, Indiana State, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Southern Illinois, Nevada, San Diego State, Nevada-Las Vegas, South Alabama, Florida International, Gonzaga, Texas State, New Mexico State, Western Carolina, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern California, Washington, California, Washington State, Oral Roberts, Austin Peay, Stony Brook, USC Upstate, Kennesaw State, Mercer, Florida Gulf Coast, St. Louis, Rhode Island, Virginia Commonwealth, Liberty, Campbell, High Point, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, UNC Wilmington, Hofstra, James Madison, Valparaiso, Manhattan, Canisius, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Bethune-Cookman, Southern, Bryant, Monmouth, Belmont.

The University of Kentucky baseball team was ranked No. 8 in the nation Thursday in the 2013 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper top-40 poll.

The ranking is the highest ever in a pre-season poll for a Kentucky baseball team.

Kentucky is coming off the best season in the history of the program, winning a school-record 45 games in 2012.

While the ranking represents a noteworthy honor for Kentucky, the poll also reveals a daunting challenge: Four Southeastern Conference teams are ranked ahead of the Cats.

The pre-season top 40 includes 10 of the league's 14 teams. In addition to Kentucky at No. 8, there's No. 1 Arkansas, No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Louisiana State, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 24 Florida, No. 25 Mississippi, No. 26 Texas A&M and No. 29 Georgia.

The unranked four — Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri — were all among the other teams receiving votes.

UK returns one of the most talent-laden rosters in college baseball in 2013, including pre-season All-Americans in center fielder Austin Cousino, left-handed starting pitcher Corey Littrell and two-way standout A.J. Reed. UK returns seven of its nine starters in the field, including middle-infield duo J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida and starting outfielders Cousino, Lucas Witt and Zac Zellers.

On the mound, Littrell and senior left-hander Jerad Grundy give UK two of its three-man weekend rotation from a year ago. UK's bullpen returns record-setting closer Trevor Gott.

Kentucky opens its 2013 season Feb. 15 in Spartanburg, S.C., taking on UNC Asheville at Wofford.

UK will play 26 games in 2013 against teams ranked among Collegiate Baseball's top 30.

Louisville was ranked No. 22 by Collegiate Baseball.

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