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Feb 8, 2013 9:44 AM

UK Baseball Consensus Top-15

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

Kentucky was 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).

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

5. UCLA

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

11. KENTUCKY

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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