MANHATTAN, Kan. – Two days after being ranked No. 22 in two different national polls, the K-State baseball team was ranked No. 21 in the USA Today preseason Coaches’ Poll, establishing a new program-best for preseason rankings.
The Wildcats are one of four Big 12 teams ranked in the coaches’ poll, trailing No. 18 Oklahoma State and ahead of No. 22 Texas and No. 23 TCU. K-State finished a conference-best 14th in the final coaches’ poll of 2013 after winning the Big 12 title.
Cal State Fullerton was ranked No. 1 in the preseason coaches’ poll while LSU, Oregon State – which defeated K-State in the NCAA Super Regional last season – Mississippi State and Florida State rounded out the top five.
The USA Today Sports board of coaches is made up of 31 coaches at Division I Institutions. Each of the 31 coaches is also a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association.
K-State has now been ranked in four national preseason polls (No. 22 by Baseball America, No. 22 by Perfect Game and No. 28 by Collegiate Baseball). No Wildcat team had ever been ranked in a preseason Top 25 poll prior to 2014.
K-State starts its 2014 season on Feb. 14 at Cal Poly and its home opener is set for Friday, Feb. 28 at 3 pm against Milwaukee. Season tickets are available by visiting kstatesports.com/tickets, calling 1-800-221-CATS or stopping by the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State Cracks Pair of Preseason Polls for First Time
For the first time in program history, the K-State baseball team has been ranked in the Perfect Game and Baseball America preseason Top 25 polls. The Wildcats are ranked No. 22 in both polls, which is the highest K-State has ever been ranked in any preseason rankings.
The Wildcats have now been placed in three preseason polls entering the 2014 campaign after coming in at No. 28 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason Fab 40, which was released in December. The No. 28 ranking by Collegiate Baseball was at the time the best the Wildcats had ever been ranked in a preseason poll.
After winning the Big 12 title and advancing to the program’s first Super Regional, K-State finished the 2013 season No. 13 in Baseball America’s final poll and No. 14 in Perfect Game’s final season rankings. The Wildcats return 19 letterwinners from last year’s squad, including five starting position players and eight pitchers.
K-State, one of four different Big 12 teams to be ranked in Baseball America’s or Perfect Game’s preseason rankings, is the highest ranked Big 12 team in the Perfect Game polls. Texas (27-24 record in 2013) is ranked No. 18 and No. 25 by Baseball America and Perfect Game, respectively, while TCU (29-28 in 2013) is No. 19 in the Baseball America poll. Oklahoma State (41-19 in 2013) is ranked No. 23 by Perfect Game.
The Wildcats start the 2014 campaign in less than three week when they kick off an eight-game, 10-day road trip with a series at Cal Poly from Friday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 16. K-State’s first home game at Tointon Family Stadium is on Friday, Feb. 28 against Milwaukee at 3 pm. Season tickets are available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-221-CATS, visiting kstatesports.com/tickets, or by going to the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at Bramlage Coliseum.
Baseball America preseason Top 25
2. Oregon State
4. Cal State Fullerton
5. North Carolina State
6. Florida State
7. South Carolina
8. Mississippi State
17. North Carolina
24. Texas A&M
Perfect Game preseason Top 25
2. Cal State Fullerton
3. Oregon State
4. Florida State
6. Mississippi State
7. South Carolina
10. North Carolina State
13. North Carolina
18. Arizona State
19. Texas A&M
23. Oklahoma State
24. Florida Atlantic