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Gators ranked No. 1 in D1Baseball Preseason Ranking

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan again has the nation's No. 1 team. Monday's preseason ranking marks the 30th time since 2015 the Gators are the outlet's No. 1 squad. It is also the third time (2016, 2018) Florida enters the season ranked No. 1 by D1Baseball.

Florida will open the  season as the No. 1-ranked team in the nation after D1 Baseball released its poll Monday. 

D1Baseball is the third outlet to list the Gators at No. 1 in their preseason ranking. Florida was previously named No. 1 in the preseason editions of Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's and Perfect Game's rankings. Outlets with preseason rankings still to come are Baseball America, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Gators, who finished the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season with a 16-1 record, were D1Baseball's top-ranked team in its final three rankings last year. Monday's preseason ranking marks the 30th time since 2015 the Gators are the outlet's No. 1 squad. It is also the third time (2016, 2018) Florida enters the season ranked No. 1 by D1Baseball.

Florida returns eight of nine position starters and all three of its weekend starting pitchers from its 2020 team. The Gators finished the 2020 campaign ranked 16th nationally in team earned run average (2.41) and 12th nationally in home runs (21). Florida's bullpen, the vast majority of which returns for 2021, posted a 1.76 ERA across 76.2 innings pitched last season.  

Also making the Top 25 from the SEC are Vanderbilt (No. 4), Ole Miss (6), Mississippi State (7), Arkansas (8), LSU (12), South Carolina (18), Tennessee (19) and Auburn (23). Miami is ranked No. 21 and Florida State comes in at No. 24.

Florida Ballpark at Alfred A. McKethan Field on campus makes its highly anticipated debut next month.