LSU No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball Poll

LSU Athletics Creative Services
Bill Franques
Bill Franques
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU is ranked No. 2 in the 2017 Collegiate Baseball newspaper preseason poll released Tuesday, marking the sixth straight season the Tigers will begin the year among the Top 10 teams in the nation.

LSU, the nation’s leader in wins (249) over the past five years, is also the only team in the country to have earned an NCAA Tournament National Seed in each of the last five seasons (2012-16).

LSU is one of four Southeastern Conference teams appearing in the 2017 preseason Top 10, along with No. 3 Florida, No. 4 South Carolina and No. 6 Vanderbilt.

Other SEC squads appearing in the Top 40 are No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 22 Ole Miss.

TCU, which LSU will face on March 3 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, is No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. Other non-conference opponents appearing in the poll are No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 29 Texas Tech, No. 34 Tulane and No. 36 Southeastern Louisiana.

LSU opens the 2017 season at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 17 versus Air Force in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

"It’s always an exciting day when Collegiate Baseball releases their preseason poll because it’s a signal that the start of the college baseball season is right around the corner, ” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who has directed the Tigers to one national championship, four College World Series appearances, three SEC overall titles, five SEC division titles and five SEC tournament championships in 10 seasons. “Our 2017 team will approach going into this season just as every team before them has approached a new season. We have a confident group that believes we can play for all the marbles if we go out each day, play as hard as we can, and take it one game at a time.

“We are honored to be recognized in this poll, as it is nice to see that others believe we have a quality team as well. However, we realize that we will have to earn everything that we get. Nothing is handed to you in college baseball, and particularly in the SEC. We embrace the challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

LSU returns eight of its nine starting position players from last season’s team, including senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, senior second baseman Cole Freeman, junior outfielder Greg Deichmann, sophomore infielder Chris Reid, junior catcher Michael Papierski, junior outfielder Beau Jordan, sophomore outfielder Antoine Duplantis and junior designated hitter Bryce Jordan.

Senior catcher Jordan Romero, senior infielder/outfielder Bryce Adams and sophomore outfielder Brennan Breaux are other returning players with starting experience.

Senior left-hander Jared Poche’ and All-American junior right-hander Alex Lange are back for their third straight season as one of the best 1-2 weekend starting combinations in the country. The pitching staff will also feature senior right-handed closer Hunter Newman, who led the Tigers with eight saves last season.

Other veteran pitchers include senior right-handers Russell Reynolds, Collin Strall and Alden Cartwright; junior right-handers Doug Norman and Austin Bain; and sophomore right-handers Caleb Gilbert and Cole McKay.

The returning players are complemented by a talented 13-man class of newcomers that includes seven pitchers and six position players. The incoming class was rated as high as No. 4 in the nation in the annual recruiting rankings.

Collegiate Baseball Pre-Season NCAA Div. I Poll
(As of Dec. 20, 2016)

Rank

Team (2016 Record)

Points

  1.

Texas Christian (49-18)

496

  2.

LSU (45-21)

494

  3.

Florida (52-16)

491

  4.

South Carolina (46-18)

489

  5.

Oregon St. (35-19)

485

  6.

Vanderbilt (43-19)

482

  7.

Arizona (49-24)

480

  8.

Miami, Fla. (50-14)

478

  9.

Florida St. (41-22)

475

10.

Cal. St. Fullerton (36-23)

472

11.

Louisville (50-14)

470

12.

Clemson (44-20)

469

13.

East Carolina (38-23-1)

465

14.

Louisiana-Lafayette (43-21)

463

15.

North Carolina (34-21)

460

16.

Virginia (38-22)

458

17.

Long Beach St. (38-22)

456

18.

U.C. Santa Barbara (43-20-1)

454

19.

Coastal Carolina (55-18)

450

20.

Texas A&M (49-16)

448

21.

Washington (33-23)

445

22.

Mississippi (43-19)

443

23.

Sam Houston St. (42-22)

440

24.

Stanford (31-23)

438

25.

Arizona St. (36-23)

435

26.

Dallas Baptist (44-19)

432

27.

Rice (38-24)

429

28.

Oklahoma St. (43-22)

426

29.

Texas Tech. (47-20)

424

30.

Texas (25-32)

420

31.

N.C. State (38-22)

417

32.

Michigan (36-21)

415

33.

Nebraska (37-22)

412

34.

Tulane (41-21)

410

35.

Houston (36-23)

407

36.

Southeastern La. (40-21)

404

37.

Gonzaga (36-21)

401

38.

Georgia Tech (38-25)

398

39.

Kent St. (44-14)

394

40.

Florida Atlantic (39-19)

390

 Other Teams Receiving Votes: New Mexico (39-23), West Virginia (36-22), Utah (26-29), Southern Mississippi (41-20), Wake Forest  (35-27), Fresno St. (36-22), U.C. Irvine (31-25), Maryland (30-27), Central Florida (26-33), Oklahoma (30-27-1), Cal. Poly (32-25), UCLA (25-31), Nevada (37-24), Nevada-Las Vegas (24-32), San Diego St. (21-38), Oregon (29-25), Southern California (28-28), California (32-21), Washington St. (19-35), Auburn (23-33), Mississippi St. (44-18-1), Kentucky (32-25), Georgia (27-30), Tennessee (29-28), South Alabama (42-22), Alabama (32-26), Arkansas (26-29), Missouri (26-30), Georgia Southern (36-24), Troy (32-26), Arkansas-Little Rock (26-28), Texas St. (31-28), Brigham Young (37-17), San Diego (27-29), Pepperdine (29-24), St. Mary’s (33-25), San Francisco (22-34), New Mexico St. (34-23), Oral Roberts (38-21), Seattle (37-21), Grand Canyon (25-28-1), Michigan St. (36-20), Indiana (32-24), Minnesota (36-22), Ohio St. (44-20-1), Illinois (28-23), Iowa (30-26), Western Michigan (22-34), Central Michigan (24-37), Missouri St. (38-21), Southern Illinois (31-25-1), Ball St. (32-26), Louisiana Tech. (42-20), N.C. Wilmington (41-19), Morehead St. (32-27), Kennesaw St. (28-27), Florida Gulf Coast (27-32), North Florida (39-19), Lipscomb (31-27), Rhode Island (31-27), St. Joseph’s (31-23), Virginia Commonwealth (38-19), Xavier (32-30), Creighton (38-17), Seton Hall (38-20), St. John’s (28-26-1), Gardner-Webb (37-21), High Point (32-24), College of Charleston (31-26-1), William & Mary (31-31), Wright St. (46-17), Princeton (24-21), Dartmouth (18-25), Fairfield (32-27), Miami, Ohio (27-29), Florida A&M (31-21), Alabama St. (38-17), Indiana St. (35-21), Wichita St. (21-37), Bryant (47-12), Southeast Missouri St. (39-21), Austin Peay St. (30-23), Jacksonville St. (34-24), Tennessee Tech. (31-24), Navy (43-16-1), Lehigh (25-29), Mercer (38-23), N.C. Greensboro (38-21), Western Carolina (31-31), Lamar (35-19), McNeese St. (31-25).