Four Pac-12 Teams Ranked in Collegiate Baseball's Preseason Poll
SAN FRANCISCO - Four Pac-12 baseball teams have been ranked in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 Preseason Poll, it was announced on Monday. OREGON STATE, UCLA, CALIFORNIA and OREGON all cracked the top 15 at No. 8, No. 10, No. 13 and No. 14, respectively. USC, ARIZONA STATE, ARIZONA and STANFORD are also receiving votes.
Oregon State is coming off a 39-18-1 season in 2015 where it took second in the Pac-12 and competed in the Dallas Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers return the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in first baseman KJ Harrison, as well as starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen, and relief pitcher Mitch Hickey. The trio of sophomores were all named Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-Americans in 2015.
UCLA, the defending Pac-12 Champions, have been ranked in the top-10 of the preseason poll four times in the last six years. Coming off one of the best seasons in program history, the Bruins' coaching staff welcomed the nation’s No. 3 ranked recruiting class (as ranked by Baseball America). UCLA also returns a strong group of veterans, including junior relief pitcher Grant Dyer, a 2015 first-team All-Pac-12 honoree and six position player starters from last year’s team.
California finished the 2015 season in a tie for third place in the Pac-12 and ended the year ranked No. 23 in the Collegiate Baseball final poll. The Golden Bears welcome back a 2015 first-team All-Pac-12 honoree in junior starting pitcher Daulton Jefferies.
Oregon finished sixth in the Pac-12 in 2015 and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Per Collegiate Baseball, the Ducks brought in the No. 8 recruiting class in the country for the 2016 season. Oregon also welcomes back a strong pitching rotation of lefties in redshirt junior Cole Irvin, sophomore David Peterson and redshirt sophomore Matt Krook.
With 28 College World Series National Titles including four of the last ten, the Pac-12 looks to continue its dominance in the ranks of collegiate baseball in 2016. Pac-12 Baseball has enjoyed unprecedented exposure thanks to the Pac-12 Network which will air 101 games in 2016. Above all, the Pac-12 Network 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.