Jan. 29, 2008
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - The UCLA baseball team has been ranked No. 3 in the Rivals.com preseason top-25 poll, as announced by the national college athletics website this week. The Bruins were ranked No. 1 in Baseball America's preseason top-25 poll on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The preseason ranking by Rivals.com marks the first time since 1997 in which UCLA has been ranked in the top five by two major preseason polls. In 1997, the last year in which the Bruins advanced to the College World Series, Collegiate Baseball pegged UCLA as the No. 2 preseason team and Baseball America ranked the Bruins No. 5.
Arizona State and Miami have captured the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively, in the Rivals.com preseason top-25 poll. Rounding out the top five selections are Rice and San Diego. Texas earned a No. 6 preseason ranking and Vanderbilt captured the No. 7 slot. Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina fill out the poll's top 10 spots.
Including UCLA, four Pac-10 teams are represented within the top 11 selections of the Rivals.com preseason poll - Arizona State (1), UCLA (3), Arizona (8) and Oregon State (11). No other conference has three or more selections within the poll's top 13 slots.
In addition to the Rivals.com and Baseball America preseason polls, UCLA has been ranked No. 7 by Perfect Game Crosschecker, No. 17 by ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 19 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
UCLA welcomes back four of five All-Pac-10 selections from the 2007, a season in which the Bruins advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since 2000. On the infield, UCLA returns All-Pac-10 selections and juniors Brandon Crawford at shortstop (.335, 7 HR, 55 RBI), Cody Decker at first base (.307, 14 HR, 57 RBI) and Jermaine Curtis at third base (.329, 4 HR, 33 RBI). Sophomore right fielder Gabe Cohen (.345, 10 HR, 36 RBI) earned Pac-10 Co-Newcomer of the Year awards in 2007.
Last spring, the Bruins recorded a 33-28 record and a 14-10 Pac-10 mark before advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
RIVALS.COM 2008 PRESEASON TOP-25 POLL
|16||Cal State Fullerton||38-25|
|17||Long Beach State||39-20|