UF baseball ranked preseason No. 17


Florida's Casey Turgeon slides safely into home to score a run during a game against Georgia Tech in the 2012 NCAA Gainesville Regionals in Gainesville, June 2, 2012.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:13 p.m.

Pick a college baseball preseason poll, whichever one you choose, will have the Florida Gators among the best teams in the country even after losing a core group of players who have made the College World Series part of the yearly schedule.

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Florida's Casey Turgeon slides safely into home to score a run during a game against Georgia Tech in the 2012 NCAA Gainesville Regionals in Gainesville, June 2, 2012.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer

Florida was ranked No. 17 in Baseball America’s Preseason College Top 25 released Thursday. The Gators had previously been ranked No. 7 by Perfect Game and No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball.

North Carolina headlines the top five in Baseball America's poll, followed by Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Louisville and Mississippi State. The Gators, coming off a third-consecutive trip to the College World Series last June, join seven other SEC programs in the poll: Vanderbilt, 2nd; Arkansas, 3rd; Mississippi State, 5th; South Carolina, 7th; LSU, 10th; Kentucky, 11th; Ole Miss 13th. Florida State is No. 20, while Miami is unranked.

The Gators, 47-20 a year ago, begin the season Feb. 15 against Duke at McKethan Stadium, where the Gators were 31-8 (.795) last year and boast a 155-34 (.820) mark in coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure. The contest with the Blue Devils begins the 36-game home schedule.

UF begins practice Friday.

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