TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona baseball team has earned a No. 24 ranking in the Baseball America preseason Top 25 announced Thursday. Arizona finished the 2012 season ranked No. 1 after winning the National Championship last June.
The Wildcats are also slotted in Perfect Game's preseason rankings at No. 22, which was announced on Tuesday. Arizona also finished the season with the No. 1 ranking.
Five Pac-12 teams are included in the Baseball America Top 25. In addition to Arizona, Oregon State (6), Stanford (9), UCLA (12) and Oregon (15) represent the conference in the poll.
Perfect Game featured six Pac-12 teams in its preseason rankings, including four top-10 slots. Stanford is the top Pac-12 team, which earned a ranking of No. 4, followed by No. 6 UCLA, No. 8 Oregon State, and No. 10 Oregon. Arizona State rounds out the rest of the Pac-12 with a ranking of No. 25.
The Wildcats return five key position players from the 2012 champion club, including reigning Pac-12 batting champion Johnny Field and freshman All-American catcher Riley Moore. On the mound, junior right-handers Konner Wade and James Farris headline a strong staff, along with sophomores Mathew Troupe and Tyler Crawford, who each bolstered the bullpen as freshmen a year ago.
Arizona plays host to 38 home games at Hi Corbett Field this season. Last year, the Wildcats led the west coast in attendance drawing over 105,000 fans for regular season and postseason games combined.
The 2013 season will begin on Friday, Feb. 15, to open a three-game series against Coppin State. Opening night will feature recognition of the 2012 national championship team as well as a post-game fireworks display.