UCLA Ranked No. 12 in Baseball America Preseason Poll
Jan. 24, 2013
Durham, N.C. - The UCLA Baseball team has earned the No. 12 preseason ranking in Baseball America's top-25 preseason poll, as announced by the publication today. The Bruins went 48-16 last season, winning their second consecutive Pac-12 Championship and earning a trip to the College World Series.
North Carolina earned the top spot in the preseason poll followed by Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Louisville and Mississippi State in that order. Oregon State, South Carolina, North Carolina State, Stanford and LSU rounded out the top-10.
Last month, Collegiate Baseball ranked the Bruins No. 5 in their preseason top-40 poll while Perfect Game USA ranked the Bruins No. 6 in their preseason poll earlier this week. UCLA has made the postseason in six of the last seven seasons and has hosted an NCAA Regional at Jackie Robinson the last three seasons. The Bruins also hosted an NCAA Super Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium in 2010 and 2012 and have reached the College World Series in two of the last three years.
UCLA is one of five Pac-12 programs in the top-25, joining No. 6 Oregon State, No. 9 Stanford, No. 15 Oregon and No. 24 Arizona. The Bruins will play 15 games against teams ranked in the Baseball America preseason top-25, playing three-game series against the previously mentioned Pac-12 teams, a two-game set against No. 22 Cal State Fullerton, and one game against No. 19 Oklahoma.
The Bruins return 17 letterwinners off of last season's squad, including their entire starting rotation, led by preseason All-American Adam Plutko. Juniors Nick Vander Tuig and Zack Weiss also return to the rotation while sophomore Grant Watson comes back after a great freshman campaign in 2012. In the bullpen, junior Ryan Deeter and sophomore David Berg will be counted on to handle the late innings for the Bruins.
In the outfield, juniors Brian Carroll and Brenton Allen, and sophomore Eric Filia will all look to step into bigger roles in 2013 after the Bruins lost their entire starting outfield from a year ago. Juniors Pat Valaika and Kevin Williams, and sophomore Kevin Kramer will look to anchor the infield while sophomore Chris Keck will look to build upon a solid freshman season. The Bruins also brought in the No. 2 ranked recruiting class back in September and will count on numerous freshmen to make key contributions in 2013.
UCLA will kick off the 2013 season with a three-game series against Minnesota starting on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 pm at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The series will continue on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm and 1 pm respectively.
BASEBALL AMERICA'S 2013 PRESEASON POLL
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