Gators No. 24 in Collegiate Baseball preseason poll

Tyler Thompson started 14 games in center field last season and the Gators were 13-1 in those outings. Thompson suffered a season-ending knee injury during Florida's SEC opener against Vanderbilt.

Brad McClenny/ Staff photographer/ FILE
Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:04 p.m.

Following its third-consecutive trip to the NCAA College World Series last June, the University of Florida was ranked 24th in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I Preseason Poll released on Thursday. It marks the fifth-straight season that head coach Kevin O'Sullivan's club has been ranked during the preseason in the nation's oldest college baseball poll, which began in 1958. The Gators were No. 25 in 2009, No. 9 in 2010, No. 2 in 2011 and No. 1 entering last season.

Arkansas headlines the publication's top five, followed by North Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSU and UCLA. Florida will begin its 2013 campaign on Feb. 15 at McKethan Stadium, when Duke visits for the opener of a three-game series.

Last season, UF was awarded the top national seed in the NCAA Tournament, its fourth-straight year within the Top-8 seeds, and became one of two programs to advance to the CWS in the last three campaigns. O'Sullivan's club swept the NCAA Gainesville Regional with victories over Bethune-Cookman (4-0) and Georgia Tech (6-2, 15-3) and then defeated NC State twice (7-1, 9-8) in the Gainesville Super Regional to advance to the College World Series for the eighth time in school history (1988, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012).

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