LSU, ULL ranked by Collegiate Baseball
LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball teams both are ranked in the Collegiate Baseball 2014 newspaper Preseason poll released Friday.
LSU is ranked No. 3, while ULL is ranked 23rd.
The preseason ranking is LSU’s highest since 2010 when the Tigers began the year at No. 2.
“It’s a significant honor any time our program is recognized with such a high ranking, but we realize we have a lot of work to do before the season opener,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university release.
“We’re very encouraged by the intensity and energy that our team has displayed,” Mainieri continued. “The fall practice period revealed a lot about our players, and it gives us strong momentum heading into preseason practice in January. We’ve learned a lot about the players that can play significant roles for us this spring, and I’m very pleased with the work ethic and chemistry developing within the squad. I think our fans will enjoy watching a very talented and dynamic group of Tigers in 2014.”
The Tigers, who had the nation’s best winning percentage in 2013 (57-11, .838), were the NCAA Tournament No. 4 National Seed last season and advanced to the College World Series for the 16th time in school history.
The 2014 roster features 18 lettermen, including nine position players with starting experience and nine pitchers that have recorded innings for the Tigers. The LSU veterans are complemented by a talented class of 19 newcomers, rated No. 6 in the nation earlier this month in the annual Perfect Game recruiting ranking.
LSU opens the 2014 season at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 versus the University of New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are ahead of national powerhouse programs Arizona (24) and Stanford (26) in the ranking.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for someone to think this highly of our team,” head coach Tony Robichaux said in a university release. “While it’s a good thing to be ranked at the start of the season, it’s more important for us to be there at the end of the season. We have a lot of work ahead of us to make that happen.”
“The ranking is a tribute to the success that we had last season, and the fact that we have most of the team coming back this year,” Robichaux said. “Hopefully we can carry over that success to this year.”
Louisiana notched a 43-20 record in 2013, reaching the championship game of both the Sun Belt Tournament and the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
The Cajuns open the 2014 campaign Feb. 14-16 at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field as they host Eastern Illinois in a four-game series.