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.