Three Pac-12 teams ranked in Baseball America preseason top-25
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Three Pac-12 baseball teams-- including the 2013 National Champion UCLA Bruins-- have been ranked in Baseball America’s Preseason Top 25, Baseball America announced on Monday. OREGON STATE, OREGON and UCLA all cracked the top 15 at No. 2, No. 11 and No. 12, respectively.
Oregon State, the defending Pac-12 Champions, earned its highest preseason ranking ever as they welcome back two key pitchers and four position starters, including reigning Pac-12 Player and Freshman of the Year in junior outfielder Michael Conforto and sophomore pitcher Andrew Moore.
Oregon returns six starting position players and three starting pitchers from a team that placed second in the Pac-12 in 2013. Weekend starters Tommy Thorpe, Cole Irvin and Jake Reed combined for a 25-14 record with a 2.69 ERA a year ago. Thorpe and Irvin both earned All-Conference honors in 2013.
UCLA is coming off its best season in program history as the Bruins captured their first-ever national title after a 10-0 postseason run that culminated with a College World Series championship. The Bruins will be led by their All-American closer and 2013 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year David Berg while they return a group of six position starters, headlined by preseason All-American infielder Kevin Kramer.
With 28 College World Series National Titles including two-consecutive and four of the last eight, the Pac-12 looks to continue its dominance in the ranks of collegiate baseball in 2014. The Conference boasts some of the winningest coaches in college baseball history as the Pac-12 head coaches have combined for over 6,000 Division I wins, eight national champions, 34 College World Series appearances, 86 NCAA Tournament appearances and 170 years of head coaching experience. Pac-12 Baseball has enjoyed unprecedented exposure thanks to the creation of Pac-12 Networks and in just the second year of existence the Networks is set to air 70 games in 2014, more than double the number last year. Above all the Pac-12 Networks has provided the opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent Pac-12 Baseball has to offer and allowed the student-athletes to get the national and widespread exposure and attention they deserve.
To view Baseball America’s full top 25 preseason poll, visit www.baseballamerica.com.