LSU's Kevin Gausman
LSU's Kevin Gausman
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, | The Times-Picayune
LSU Preseason No. 8 by 'Baseball America'
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Published: January 24, 2012, 11:32 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

DURHAM, N.C. - LSU is No. 8 in the Baseball America magazine preseason Top 25 released Tuesday. The Tigers are one of seven SEC teams appearing in the ranking, along with No. 1 Florida, No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 10 Vanderbilt, No. 11 Georgia and No. 22 Ole Miss.

The SEC produced three of the final four teams in the College World Series last year and has won the last three national titles - LSU in 2009 and South Carolina in 2010 and 2011.

LSU starts preseason practice at 3 p.m. Friday in Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers open the season at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17 versus Air Force in Alex Box Stadium (Full Schedule)

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The LSU roster includes 21 lettermen from the 2011 squad, including 10 position players with starting experience and eight pitchers that have recorded innings for the Tigers.

The LSU veterans are complemented by a talented class of 14 newcomers, including five players that were selected in the 2011 Major League Draft.

Florida is No. 1 in Baseball America's preseason Top 25 rankings for the second year in a row-and the second time in school history. The Gators, who finished as national runners-up a year ago, return the bulk of their everyday lineup, their entire weekend rotation and a number of key arms in the bullpen.

The team that beat Florida in the College World Series Finals in 2011, South Carolina, begins its quest for a third straight national championship with a No. 3 ranking. The Gamecocks return a lot of proven pitching but will have new starters up the middle of the diamond.

2012 Baseball America Preseason Top 25
Team 2011 Record
1. Florida 53-19
2. Stanford 35-22
3. South Carolina 55-14
4. Arkansas 40-22
5. Arizona 39-21
6. Rice 42-21
7. Texas A&M 47-22
8. LSU 36-20
9. North Carolina 51-16
10. Vanderbilt 54-12
11. Georgia 33-22
12. Georgia Tech 42-21
13. Texas 49-19
14. UCLA 35-24
15. Texas Christian 43-19
16. Clemson 43-20
17. Arizona State 43-18
18. Miami 38-23
19. Oklahoma 41-19
20. Florida State 46-19
21. Central Florida 39-23
22. Mississippi 30-25
23. Oregon State 41-19
24. Louisville 32-29
25. Cal State Fullerton 41-17


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