Baseball Writers Rank Wildcats No. 12

Walter Wijas is one of three seniors on the 2013 UK club. The righty is coming off a 0.91 ERA in 16 relief apperances in the Cape Cod League.

Walter Wijas is one of three seniors on the 2013 UK club. The righty is coming off a 0.91 ERA in 16 relief apperances in the Cape Cod League.

Feb. 8, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has ranked Kentucky No. 12 in its preseason top-35 poll, giving the Wildcats a consensus top-15 ranking entering 2013, it was announced.

Kentucky has been ranked in the top-15 in each of the main five preseason polls, including No. 8 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 11 (Baseball America), No. 12 (NCBWA), No. 13 (Perfect Game USA) and No. 15 (ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll). Each of those preseason rankings marks program bests for the Wildcats, with conclusive preseason polls dating back to 1999.

The Wildcats will play a total of 24 games against teams ranked in the preseason NCBWA poll, including nine games against the top five, 17 games against the top-20 and 23 games vs. top-25 foes. Last year, Kentucky posted a 15-10 record against top-25 teams, the second-most wins against ranked foes in UK history. UK also went 10-4 – a new school best – against the top-10 and an 8-4 mark against the NCAA’s top-10 teams in the final RPI.

Kentucky enters the season boasting three preseason All-America selections, including sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino, junior starting pitcher Corey Littrell and sophomore two-way standout A.J. Reed. Cousino has earned preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year honors by Baseball America, in addition to All-America honors by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and the NCBWA. Littrell, a 6-foot-3 southpaw, is a preseason All-America selection by the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger. A 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefty/first baseman, Reed was also named to the NCBWA preseason All-America club.

A year ago, the Wildcats rewrote the record books en route to a historic season. UK won a program-best 45 games, including 20 wins against SEC foes, and soared to No. 1 in the nation for three weeks. After the year, a record nine UK players were selected in the MLB Draft, second-most in the NCAA, while UK tied for the nation lead with nine players from its 2013 roster in either the Cape Cod League or with the USA Collegiate National Team. Kentucky enters 2013 with 15 players that have been drafted in their careers on its roster, the second-most in the NCAA and just behind Vanderbilt (18).

UK will open its 2013 on Friday, Feb. 15 in Spartanburg, S.C., against UNC Asheville at 12 p.m. ET at Russell C. King Field. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action.

NCBWA Top-35 Preseason Poll
1. Arkansas     
2. North Carolina        
3. LSU
4. Vanderbilt
6. South Carolina
7. Stanford
8. Oregon        
9. NC State      
10. Oregon State         
11. Florida State
12. KENTUCKY            
13. TCU           
14. Arizona
15. Florida      
16. Mississippi State
17. Oklahoma
18. Rice           
19. Louisville
20. San Diego
21. Georgia Tech        
22. Arizona State         
23. Cal State Fullerton            
24. Texas A&M           
25. Ole Miss
26. Texas
27. Baylor
28. Clemson    
29. Miami
30. Virginia     
31. Kent State
32. Southern Miss       
33. UC Irvine   
34. New Mexico          
35. Coastal Carolina

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top-40    
1. Arkansas                              
2. North Carolina                    
3. Vanderbilt                          
4. LSU                      
5. UCLA                                                
6. Oregon                                         
7. South Carolina                    
8. KENTUCKY                           
9. Stanford                              
10. Oregon St.                                    
11. N.C. State                          
12. San Diego                       
13. Mississippi St.                 
14. Oklahoma                        
15. Texas Christian                 
16. Arizona St.                                  
17. Georgia Tech.                    
18. Arizona                             
19. Florida St.                        
20. Rice                                               
21. Texas                                             
22. Louisville                       
23. Cal. St. Fullerton
24. Florida                           
25. Ole Miss                                   
26. Texas A&M                                   
27. Clemson                       
28. Miami, Fla.                                  
29. Georgia                          
30. U.C. Irvine                                    
31. Missouri St.                       
32. Wichita St.                                   
33. New Mexico                                
34. Kent St.                         
35. Virginia            
36. Southern Mississippi       
37. East Carolina                  
38. Coastal Carolina               
39. Dallas Baptist                    
40. Pepperdine     

ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Arkansas     
2. UCLA        
3. LSU
4. North Carolina        
5. South Carolina   
6. Oregon       
7. Stanford     
8. Vanderbilt
9. Florida State          
10. Arizona     
11. North Carolina State     
12. TCU    
13. Florida       
14. Oregon State      
15. KENTUCKY         
16. Oklahoma
17. Rice      
18. Mississippi State
18. San Diego
20. Arizona State       
21. Georgia Tech    
22. Cal State Fullerton           
23. Baylor   
24. Texas A&M          
25. Virginia
25. Louisville

Baseball America Preseason Top-25
1. North Carolina
2. Vanderbilt
3. Arkansas     
4. Louisville    
5. Mississippi State    
6. Oregon State
7. South Carolina
8. North Carolina State
9. Stanford      
10. LSU
12. UCLA         
13. Ole Miss    
14. Texas Christian
15. Oregon      
16. Georgia Tech
17. Florida      
18. Rice           
19. Oklahoma             
20. Florida State          
21. New Mexico          
22. Cal State Fullerton            
23. Southern Mississippi         
24. Arizona      
25. San Diego



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