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Courtesy: hailstate.com

Baseball No. 2 In 2014 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll

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December 20, 2013
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STARKVILLE, Miss. – On Valentine’s Day in 2014, Mississippi State baseball fans will fall in love all over again with their team when the Bulldogs sprint onto the field as the No. 2 program in the country. The preseason ranking was bestowed upon MSU Friday by Collegiate Baseball and is the first preseason poll for the upcoming season.

“It is a tremendous honor, but at the same time our kids know our goal goes far beyond preseason recognition,” head coach John Cohen said. “We are all aware of how much work we have in front of us.”

The No. 2 status is MSU’s highest since State took a school-best No. 1 preseason ranking into the 1989 campaign, when Cohen himself was a junior on the squad. Cohen and company handled expectations well, winning a school-record 54 games as well as the Southeastern Conference championship with a program-record 20 conference victories.

On the mound, the Maroon and White are led by right-hander Jonathan Holder and lefty Ross Mitchell, who were both named preseason All-Americans this past week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Holder tied the SEC single-season record for saves this past spring with 21 thanks to a 1.65 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings, while Mitchell finished 2013 as the only pitcher in the country with 13 or more wins without a single loss.

At the plate, the offense is anchored by 2013 College World Series All-Tournament Team members Brett Pirtle and Wes Rea, along with on-base machine Alex Detz. Pirtle, a senior, hit .336 in SEC play this past spring and during one stretch of the season reached base safely in 43-consecutive games. Rea, a redshirt junior, tallied multiple-RBIs in 13 games, the most of any returning player, while also finishing in the top-10 in the league in home runs despite playing in the spacious confines of Dudy Noble Field. Detz, a senior, finished ninth nationally with 53 walks and fourth in the conference with a .449 on-base percentage.

“I think all of our players and staff will enjoy this recognition for about five minutes, before we zero in on what it is going to take to truly earn a ranking like that,” Cohen added about his ballclub, which returns 19 lettermen.

Cohen's crew opens up its 2014 campaign on Friday, Feb. 14, as the Bulldogs begin their 124th season with a 4 p.m. lid-lifter vs. Hofstra. For more information on the 2013 national finalists, follow the team on social media by searching for “HailStateBB” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All-Access coverage of the program can also be found on FanCred.

Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I
2014 Preseason Poll
(As of Dec. 20, 2013)

Rank

Team (2013 Record)

Points

  1.

Cal. St. Fullerton (51-10)

495

  2.

Mississippi St. (51-20)

493

  3.

Louisiana St. (57-11)

491

  4.

Oregon St. (52-13)

487

  5.

Florida St. (47-17)

485

  6.

Oregon (48-16)

483

  7.

Indiana (49-16)

481

  8.

Louisville (51-14)

479

  9.

Vanderbilt (54-12)

477

10.

N.C. State (50-16)

474

11.

North Carolina (59-12)

471

12.

Virginia (50-12)

468

13.

Miami, Fla. (37-25)

465

14.

South Carolina (43-20)

463

15.

UCLA (49-17)

460

16.

Florida (29-30)

457

17.

Rice (44-20)

455

18.

Oklahoma St. (41-19)

454

19.

Texas Christian (29-28)

451

20.

Texas (27-24)

450

21.

Clemson (40-22)

447

22.

Arizona St. (37-22-1)

445

23.

La.-Lafayette (43-10)

443

24.

Arizona (34-21)

441

25.

Texas A&M (34-29)

437

26.

Stanford (32-22)

435

27.

Cal. Poly (40-19)

432

28.

Kansas St. (45-19)

430

29.

Alabama (35-28)

423

30.

Mississippi (38-24)

421

31.

Western Carolina (39-20)

419

32.

Oklahoma (43-21)

417

33.

San Diego (37-25)

414

34.

Wichita St. (39-28)

411

35.

Liberty (36-29)

409

36.

Tennessee Tech. (40-17)

404

37.

New Mexico (37-22)

403

38.

East Carolina (31-26)

400

39.

U.C. Santa Barbara (34-23)

396

40.

Coastal Carolina (37-23)

395

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