Dec. 22, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - UCLA has been ranked No. 21 in Collegiate Baseball's preseason top-40 poll, the weekly national baseball newspaper announced this week. The Bruins will play 51 of their 56 regular-season games against teams either ranked in Collegiate Baseball's top-40 or receiving votes in the preseason poll.
The UCLA baseball program is one of seven Pac-10 programs rated among the top-40 by Collegiate Baseball. The three remaining Pac-10 programs have been included as teams also receiving votes.
Stanford and Arizona State represent the Pac-10 in the poll's top-10, at the No. 5 and No. 6 spots, respectively. Following UCLA at No. 21, USC checks in at No. 24. Arizona is ranked No. 35, Oregon State is slotted No. 38 and California has earned a No. 39 ranking in the preseason poll.
Oregon, in its first season of NCAA Division I baseball since 1981, accompanies Washington and Washington State in the preseason poll's selection of other teams receiving votes.
The Bruins will play 33 games against teams ranked in the top-40 - additionally, 18 games will feature opponents also receiving votes in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll.
UCLA returns four starting position players (Gabe Cohen, Cody Decker, Blair Dunlap and Casey Haerther) from its 2008 lineup and two of three weekend starters (juniors Gavin Brooks and Charles Brewer). Overall, the Bruins return 13 of 14 pitchers from its 2008 staff (lost Tim Murphy, 3rd round MLB Draft, Texas Rangers).
The Bruins' 2009 campaign begins with a three-game series against UC Davis on Friday, Feb. 20. Game time at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium is slated for 6 p.m.
COLLEGIATE BASEBALL'S 2009 TOP-40 PRESEASON POLL
|13||Cal State Fullerton||41-22||462|
|30||UC Santa Barbara||35-21||423|
Also receiving votes: Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Auburn, Long Beach State, Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina State, Houston, Kent State, Santa Clara, UC Riverside, Oral Roberts, Nebraska, Kennesaw State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Tennessee, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Jacksonville State, Elon, Western Kentucky, Dallas Baptist, UNC Charlotte, South Florida, St. John's, Winthrop, Purdue, James Madison, Marshall, Central Florida, Washington, Washington State, Georgia Southern, Northwestern State, Lamar, Texas-San Antonio, Southern, Louisiana-Monroe, New Orleans, Hawaii, San Jose State, San Francisco.