UCLA Ranked No. 5 in Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll
Dec. 20, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA Baseball team has been ranked No. 5 in Collegiate Baseball's preseason top-40 poll, as announced by the weekly newspaper on Thursday.
The Bruins, who finished with a record of 48-16 last season, will play 20 games against teams that are ranked in the preseason top-40 in 2013. UCLA also earned the highest ranking of any of the Pac-12 schools in the preseason poll. The other Pac-12 programs ranked in the preseason poll are Oregon (No. 6), Stanford (No. 9), Oregon State (No. 10), Arizona State (No. 16) and Arizona (No. 18), giving the Pac-12 a total of six teams inside the top 20.
UCLA will return four starting position players (Kevin Kramer, Cody Regis, Pat Valaika and Kevin Williams) off of last year's team that reached the College World Series for the second time in three years and won the Pac-12 Championship for the second consecutive year. Sophomores Shane Zeile, Chris Keck and Eric Filia-Snyder also return and will look to make a bigger impact in 2013 after making significant contributions in 2012 as freshmen.
The Bruins also bring back all three of their weekend starters (Adam Plutko, Nick Vander Tuig and Zack Weiss), plus Tuesday starter Grant Watson. Preseason All-American David Berg also returns along with redshirt junior Ryan Deeter to provide stability in the UCLA bullpen. In addition, UCLA brought in the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in 2012 and will look for numerous freshmen to play key roles in 2013.
This is the second time in the last five years that the Bruins have been ranked in the preseason top-five by Collegiate Baseball. UCLA came in at No. 3 in the 2010 top-40 poll. The Bruins were also ranked preseason No. 1 by Baseball America back in 2008 and again in 2011 by ESPN/USA Today.
UCLA will open the 2013 season with a three-game series against Minnesota beginning on Friday, Feb. 15 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time of the season opener will be at 6 pm. The Bruins and Golden Gophers will continue their series on Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 1 pm.
COLLEGIATE BASEBALL'S PRESEASON TOP-40 POLL
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