MSU No. 13 In Collegiate Baseball Preseason Rankings

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Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After claiming the 2012 SEC Baseball Tournament title and a 32nd advancement to NCAA postseason play, Mississippi State is ranked 13th in the preseason baseball poll announced Thursday by Tucson-based Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

It's the highest preseason ranking for Mississippi State by Collegiate Baseball since MSU was tabbed 11th in the 2003 survey.

Coach John Cohen's fifth MSU diamond edition features 23 lettermen from the 2012 MSU club that notched the program's 18th 40-win campaign with a 40-24 record. Sophomore righthander Jonathan Holder and junior shortstop Adam Frazier, recently tabbed by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as preseason all-Americans, head up a veteran-laden Bulldog club that includes 20 returning players with starting experience last spring.

Holder fashioned a remarkable 0.32 earned run average with nine saves to bolster a pitching staff that registered the nation's second-best earned run average (2.58). Frazier, MVP of the SEC Tournament and a member of the 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer, ranked third in the SEC with a .371 batting average and 91 hits and led the league with 227 assists.

Arkansas nipped North Carolina for the top spot in the poll and heads up a 10-team SEC contingent in the ranking's top 30. That list also includes No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 LSU, No. 7. South Carolina, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 24 Florida, No. 25 Ole Miss, No. 26 Texas A&M and No. 29 Georgia. Auburn, Alabama, Missouri and Tennessee received votes in Collegiate Baseball's Top 40 Preseason Poll.

Mississippi State plays a school-record 37 home games in 2013 and opens a season-opening 19-game homestand Feb. 15-17 when the Bulldogs face first-time foe Portland at Dudy Noble Field. State's 2013 schedule features 26 games against teams included in the Collegiate Baseball rankings.

Collegiate Baseball Top 40 Preseason Poll

1. Arkansas

2. North Carolina

3. Vanderbilt

4. LSU

5. UCLA

6. Oregon

7. South Carolina

8. Kentucky

9. Stanford

10. Oregon State

11. NC State

12. San Diego

13. Mississippi State

14. Oklahoma

15. TCU

16. Arizona State

17. Georgia Tech

18. Arizona

19. Florida State

20. Rice

21. Texas

22. Louisville

23. Cal State Fullerton

24. Florida

25. Ole Miss

26. Texas A&M

27. Clemson

28. Miami (Fla.)

29. Georgia

30. UC Irvine

31. Missouri State

32. Wichita State

33. New Mexico

34. Kent State

35. Virginia

36. Southern Miss

37. East Carolina

38. Coastal Carolina

39. Dallas Baptist

40. Pepperdine

 


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