UK Baseball

Kentucky, Louisville ranked in Baseball America preseason poll

UK second baseman JaVon Shelby is congratulated by Dorian Hairston, left, following his home run in the fourth inning against Georgia at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky., Sunday, May 10, 2015. Georgia prevailed 6-1 to win the series 2-1.
UK second baseman JaVon Shelby is congratulated by Dorian Hairston, left, following his home run in the fourth inning against Georgia at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky., Sunday, May 10, 2015. Georgia prevailed 6-1 to win the series 2-1. Herald-Leader

Kentucky and Louisville both were ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams in Baseball America’s preseason college poll on Monday.

The Wildcats are rated No. 25. The Cardinals come in at No. 2, trailing only top-ranked Florida.

Kentucky and Florida are among seven Southeastern Conference teams in the poll, joining No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 11 LSU, No. 20 Mississippi State and No. 24 Ole Miss.

The Atlantic Coast Conference boasts four ranked teams in addition to Louisville: No. 4 Virginia, No. 6 Miami, No. 17 Florida State and No. 19 North Carolina State.

Kentucky’s ranking marks only the second time the Wildcats are ranked in the preseason by Baseball America. The Wildcats are No. 29 in this year’s Collegiate Baseball preseason poll.

Kentucky will open its 2016 season on Feb. 19 at Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.

Cat, Cards receive All-America honors

University of Kentucky junior third baseman JaVon Shelby picked up his second preseason All-America honor of 2016 on Monday.

Shelby was named a third-team selection by the website D1Baseball.com. Earlier, the Lexington native earned third-team recognition from Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball.

Shelby, who played high school baseball at Tates Creek, made the All-Southeastern Conference first team as a sophomore last season.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-handed hitter, Shelby finished 2015 with a .312 average (63-for-202) with nine homers and 44 RBI.

Shelby comes from a decorated baseball family that includes his father John T., an 11-year major-league veteran and the first-base coach for the Milwaukee Brewers, and his older brother John, who belted 33 homers and drove in 131 runs from 2004-06 for the Wildcats. The youngest of the Shelby brothers, outfielder Jaren, signed his national letter of intent with Kentucky in November.

Louisville placed five players on D1Baseball’s All-America teams Monday.

Junior second baseman Nick Solak, junior outfielder Corey Ray and sophomore utility player/pitcher Brendan McKay were named to the first team. Senior pitcher Kyle Funkhouser and junior pitcher Zack Burdi made the second team.

BASEBALL AMERICA PRESEASON TOP 25

Teams listed with last season’s record

1. Florida 44-24

2. Louisville 47-18

3. Texas A&M 50-14

4. Virginia 44-24

5. Oregon State 39-19

6. Miami 50-17

7. Vanderbilt 51-21

8. California 36-21

9. Oklahoma State 38-20

10. UCLA 45-16

11. Louisiana State 54-12

12. Houston 43-20

13. Louisiana-Lafayette 42-23

14. Oregon 38-25

15. Michigan 39-25

16. Southern California 39-21

17. Florida State 44-21

18. Texas Christian 51-15

19. North Carolina State 36-23

20. Mississippi State 24-30

21. Oklahoma 34-27

22. Cal State Fullerton 39-25

23. Coastal Carolina 39-21

24. Mississippi 30-28

25. Kentucky 30-25

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