FAYETTEVILLE- The Arkansas baseball team picked up its first top 25 ranking of the 2011 season on Thursday afternoon as it was ranked 24th in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll.
The Razorbacks are coming off a 43-21 season in 2010 and the program’s ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas advanced to the NCAA Tempe Super Regional before dropping two 12-inning games to top-seed Arizona State. It marked the first time in program history that the Hogs had advanced to a Super Regional in consecutive years.
Arkansas brings back 13 letterwinners from the 2010 squad, including four starting position players. The 2011 Razorbacks feature 18 newcomers.
The Southeastern Conference was well represented in the rankings with five other league teams making the top 25, including three in the top 10. Florida and Vanderbilt were ranked third and fourth, respectively, while defending national champion South Carolina was No. 8. LSU was slotted at No. 15 and Auburn was picked 23rd.
Arkansas officially opens practice for the 2011 season on Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m. The regular season opener is scheduled for Friday, February 18, against Delaware State at 3:05 p.m.
USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches Poll1. UCLA2. TCU3. Florida4. Vanderbilt5. Clemson6. Oklahoma7. Texas8. South Carolina9. Cal State Fullerton10. Oregon11. Florida State12. Arizona State13. Texas A&M14. Virginia15. LSU16. Stanford17. Rice18. Miami (Fla.)19. Georgia Tech20. Coastal Carolina21. Louisville22. Connecticut23. Auburn24. Arkansas25. Arizona