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    Baseball Writers Rank Wildcats No. 12

    Feb. 8, 2013

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has ranked Kentucky No. 12 in its preseason top-35 poll, giving the Wildcats a consensus top-15 ranking entering 2013, it was announced.

    Kentucky has been ranked in the top-15 in each of the main five preseason polls, including No. 8 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 11 (Baseball America), No. 12 (NCBWA), No. 13 (Perfect Game USA) and No. 15 (ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll). Each of those preseason rankings marks program bests for the Wildcats, with conclusive preseason polls dating back to 1999.

    The Wildcats will play a total of 24 games against teams ranked in the preseason NCBWA poll, including nine games against the top five, 17 games against the top-20 and 23 games vs. top-25 foes. Last year, Kentucky posted a 15-10 record against top-25 teams, the second-most wins against ranked foes in UK history. UK also went 10-4 – a new school best – against the top-10 and an 8-4 mark against the NCAA’s top-10 teams in the final RPI.

    Kentucky enters the season boasting three preseason All-America selections, including sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino, junior starting pitcher Corey Littrell and sophomore two-way standout A.J. Reed. Cousino has earned preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year honors by Baseball America, in addition to All-America honors by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and the NCBWA. Littrell, a 6-foot-3 southpaw, is a preseason All-America selection by the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger. A 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefty/first baseman, Reed was also named to the NCBWA preseason All-America club.

    A year ago, the Wildcats rewrote the record books en route to a historic season. UK won a program-best 45 games, including 20 wins against SEC foes, and soared to No. 1 in the nation for three weeks. After the year, a record nine UK players were selected in the MLB Draft, second-most in the NCAA, while UK tied for the nation lead with nine players from its 2013 roster in either the Cape Cod League or with the USA Collegiate National Team. Kentucky enters 2013 with 15 players that have been drafted in their careers on its roster, the second-most in the NCAA and just behind Vanderbilt (18).

    UK will open its 2013 on Friday, Feb. 15 in Spartanburg, S.C., against UNC Asheville at 12 p.m. ET at Russell C. King Field. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action.

    NCBWA Top-35 Preseason Poll
    1. Arkansas     
    2. North Carolina        
    3. LSU
    4. Vanderbilt
    5. UCLA
    6. South Carolina
    7. Stanford
    8. Oregon        
    9. NC State      
    10. Oregon State         
    11. Florida State
    12. KENTUCKY            
    13. TCU           
    14. Arizona
    15. Florida      
    16. Mississippi State
    17. Oklahoma
    18. Rice           
    19. Louisville
    20. San Diego
    21. Georgia Tech        
    22. Arizona State         
    23. Cal State Fullerton            
    24. Texas A&M           
    25. Ole Miss
    26. Texas
    27. Baylor
    28. Clemson    
    29. Miami
    30. Virginia     
    31. Kent State
    32. Southern Miss       
    33. UC Irvine   
    34. New Mexico          
    35. Coastal Carolina

    Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top-40    
    1. Arkansas                              
    2. North Carolina                    
    3. Vanderbilt                          
    4. LSU                      
    5. UCLA                                                
    6. Oregon                                         
    7. South Carolina                    
    8. KENTUCKY                           
    9. Stanford                              
    10. Oregon St.                                    
    11. N.C. State                          
    12. San Diego                       
    13. Mississippi St.                 
    14. Oklahoma                        
    15. Texas Christian                 
    16. Arizona St.                                  
    17. Georgia Tech.                    
    18. Arizona                             
    19. Florida St.                        
    20. Rice                                               
    21. Texas                                             
    22. Louisville                       
    23. Cal. St. Fullerton
    24. Florida                           
    25. Ole Miss                                   
    26. Texas A&M                                   
    27. Clemson                       
    28. Miami, Fla.                                  
    29. Georgia                          
    30. U.C. Irvine                                    
    31. Missouri St.                       
    32. Wichita St.                                   
    33. New Mexico                                
    34. Kent St.                         
    35. Virginia            
    36. Southern Mississippi       
    37. East Carolina                  
    38. Coastal Carolina               
    39. Dallas Baptist                    
    40. Pepperdine     

    ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll
    1. Arkansas     
    2. UCLA        
    3. LSU
    4. North Carolina        
    5. South Carolina   
    6. Oregon       
    7. Stanford     
    8. Vanderbilt
    9. Florida State          
    10. Arizona     
    11. North Carolina State     
    12. TCU    
    13. Florida       
    14. Oregon State      
    15. KENTUCKY         
    16. Oklahoma
    17. Rice      
    18. Mississippi State
    18. San Diego
    20. Arizona State       
    21. Georgia Tech    
    22. Cal State Fullerton           
    23. Baylor   
    24. Texas A&M          
    25. Virginia
    25. Louisville

    Baseball America Preseason Top-25
    1. North Carolina
    2. Vanderbilt
    3. Arkansas     
    4. Louisville    
    5. Mississippi State    
    6. Oregon State
    7. South Carolina
    8. North Carolina State
    9. Stanford      
    10. LSU
    11. KENTUCKY
    12. UCLA         
    13. Ole Miss    
    14. Texas Christian
    15. Oregon      
    16. Georgia Tech
    17. Florida      
    18. Rice           
    19. Oklahoma             
    20. Florida State          
    21. New Mexico          
    22. Cal State Fullerton            
    23. Southern Mississippi         
    24. Arizona      
    25. San Diego