Arizona Baseball Tabbed 16th In Preseason Baseball America Poll

Jan. 5, 2004

TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona baseball team has been tabbed 16th in theBaseball America preseason poll released on Monday. The ranking is thesecond of the preseason for the Wildcats who found themselves ranked 22nd inthe Collegiate Baseball poll two weeks ago.

According to the Baseball America poll, the defending national championRice Owls are the preseason favorites to defend their title, carrying overthe top spot in the rankings from last season. LSU, Miami, Cal StateFullerton and Georgia Tech round out the top five.

Arizona is coming off a 35-23 2003 season that culminated in the firstpostseason appearance since 1999. UA returns eight starters on offense,including reigning Pac-10 batting champion Jeff Van Houten.

The traditionally tough Pacific-10 Conference has only three teamsrepresented in the BA poll with 2003 College World Series runner-up Stanfordplaced sixth, Arizona at No. 16 and Arizona State pulling in a No. 18ranking.

In addition to the Pac-10 opponents, Arizona will also face four otherschools ranked in the preseason poll this year in No. 4 Fullerton, No. 9Long Beach State, No. 13 Baylor and No. 19 Notre Dame.

The Wildcats will open their 2004 campaign with three weeks of camp on Saturday, January 10, before beginning the regular season at home against UC Riverside on February 6, at 3 pm.

2004 Baseball America Preseason Rankings        Team    		W-L     	2003 Final Rank1.    	Rice    		58-12    	12.    	Louisiana State    	45-22    	53.   	Miami    		45-17    	84.    	Cal State Fullerton  	50-16    	35.    	Georgia Tech    	44-18    	176.    	Stanford    		51-18    	27.    	South Carolina    	45-22    	108.    	Texas    		50-20    	49.   	Long Beach State   	41-20    	910.  	Tulane    		44-19    	NR11.  	Clemson    		39-22    	NR12.  	Auburn    		42-21    	1813.  	Baylor    		45-23    	1114.  	Wichita State    	49-27    	NR15.  	North Carolina    	42-23    	1916.  	Arizona    		35-23    	NR17.  	Mississippi    		35-27    	NR18.  	Arizona State    	54-14    	719.  	Notre Dame   		45-18    	NR20.  	Florida    		37-21    	NR21.  	Texas A&M        	45-19    	1422.  	Florida State    	54-13    	623.  	Florida Atlantic    	47-16    	2324.  	Nebraska    		47-18    	1325.  	NC State    		45-18    	12

Italics denote 2004 opponent.

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