Dec. 20, 2013
Vanderbilt is set to open the 2014 season ranked ninth in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
Collegiate Baseball released its Top 40 poll Friday with the Commodores starting 2014 where they ended 2013 as the No. 9 team in the nation after going 54-12 and winning the team's second Southeastern Conference championship in the last three years. Vanderbilt is one of three SEC teams in the Top 10 and one of eight in the poll. Cal State Fullerton is the top-ranked team followed by Mississippi State, LSU, Oregon State and Florida State. No. 14 South Carolina, No. 16Florida, No. 25 Texas A&M, No. 29 Alabama and No. 30 Ole Miss are the other SEC teams in the preseason poll. The Dores are set to play eight teams in the preseason poll beginning with No. 26 Stanford. Other ranked nonconference foes include No. 8 Louisville and No. 36 Tennessee Tech.
The Commodores return 20 lettermen from last season's SEC champion squad with the team's pitching staff nearly intact. Juniors Tyler Beede and Brian Miller were named preseason All-Americans earlier in the week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Both Beede and Miller are coming off record-breaking, All-American sophomore seasons. Freshman All-American Carson Fulmer, senior lefty Steven Rice, junior Jared Miller and sophomores Walker Buehler and Tyler Ferguson all bring a wealth of experience back to the VU pitching staff in 2014.
Offensively, the Commodores must replace six starters but bring back the left side of the infield with shortstop Vince Conde and Freshman All-American Xavier Turner returning at third base. The outfield will feature three new starters after the departure of All-Americans Connor Harrell and Mike Yastrzemski and senior Jack Lupo, who is now the volunteer assistant coach at Illinois-Chicago.
Vanderbilt opens the season at Long Beach State on February 14 and returns home to host Lipscomb February 19 to begin a 10-game home stand that includes weekend series against Illinois-Chicago and Stanford.
The deadline for season ticket renewals is today (December 20) with new season ticket information scheduled to be available in early January.