Three Kentucky Wildcats have been tabbed preseason All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball…
Baseball Cats ranked No. 8 in preseason poll
The Wildcats will open the season ranked No. 8, according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 40 poll. Kentucky's previous high ranking going into a season was No. 19 in 2009.
Gary Henderson's squad is coming off the best season in the 117-year history of the program, claiming a school-record 45 wins in 2012 and posting its best finishes in both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
UK returns one of the most talent-laden rosters in college baseball for 2013, including preseason All-Americans in centerfielder Austin Cousino, left-handed starting pitcher Corey Littrell and two-way standout A.J. Reed. The Cats return seven of their nine starters in the field, including dynamic middle-infield duo J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida, and a starting outfield of Cousino, Lucas Witt and Zac Zellers.
On the mound, Littrell and senior southpaw Jerad Grundy give UK two of its three-man SEC weekend rotation from a year ago. Reed, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound southpaw, is coming off the third-best ERA in the Cape Cod League during the summer and could give UK its second consecutive season with three left-handed pitchers in the weekend rotation.
UK's bullpen returns record-setting closer Trevor Gott, who shattered the school-record with nine saves in 2012 and paced the Wildcats to a staggering 40-0 record when leading after seven innings.
Kentucky opens the 2013 season on Feb. 15 in Spartansburg, S.C., against UNC-Asheville at Wofford.
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