Jan. 24, 2013
Nashville, Tenn. -
Vanderbilt is set to open preseason practice tomorrow and will open the 2013 season February 15 against Long Beach State as the No. 2 team in the nation according to Baseball America.
The ranking is the highest preseason poll ranking in school history and the highest ranking for the team since 2011, when the Dores ascended to the top spot en route to their first-ever College World Series. Vanderbilt opened the 2008 season at No. 3 and rose to No. 1 in the polls in 2007 for the first time in school history after opening the season at No. 8.
"A ranking has no effect on us one way or another," Head Coach Tim Corbin says. "Our kids are observant enough to see it, but they don't absorb it. It's public opinion and the public doesn't play... we do."
The Commodores return a talented and experienced squad in 2013 with 23 lettermen on the roster and back-to-back, top-ranked recruiting classes. Seniors Connor Harrell and Mike Yastrzemski return for their final season after turning down professional contracts last summer. The junior class features three preseason All-Americans in Conrad Gregor, Tony Kemp and Spencer Navin. The pitching staff returns intact with all three weekend starters back. Juniors T.J. Pecoraro and Kevin Ziomek will join sophomore Tyler Beede in the Dores' rotation. In the bullpen, sophomores Brian Miller and Jared Miller pitched in a combined 59 games in 2012 and will look to expand their roles this season.
North Carolina tops the Baseball America poll followed by Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Louisville and Mississippi State to round out the top five. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with eight teams in the top 25 and five in the top ten. The Commodores are scheduled to play seven teams in the preseason poll with Florida and Mississippi State playing at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt is scheduled to open the 2013 season at home against Long Beach State on February 15 at 4 p.m. The team's annual Baseball Banquet will be held February 9 at the Student Life Center beginning with an autograph session from 6-7 p.m. with dinner to follow. For banquet ticket or season ticket information call 615.322.GOLD or click here.
Baseball America Preseason Top 25
1. North Carolina
5. Mississippi State
6. Oregon State
7. South Carolina
8. NC State
13. Ole Miss
16. Georgia Tech
20. Florida State
21. New Mexico
22. Cal State-Fullerton
23. Southern Miss
25. San Diego