Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Arkansas ranked preseason No. 25
The University of Arkansas baseball team breaks out of their huddle after warm ups to begin the first practice of the season Friday afternoon at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas is ranked No. 25 in the preseason Baseball America Top 25 poll, released Monday.
It is the third straight year the Razorbacks are ranked in the publication's preseason poll after coming in No. 4 in 2012 and No. 3 last year. Arkansas returns six position players who played in at least 46 games last year and six pitchers who had at least 19 innings on the mound.
The Razorbacks finished last season with a 39-22 record, losing to Kansas State in the finals of the NCAA Manhattan Regional.
Eight Southeastern Conference teams were ranked in Baseball America's preseason top 25. South Carolina (7), Mississippi State (8), LSU (9) and Vanderbilt (10) were ranked in the top 10.
Other ranked teams from the SEC include Alabama (21), Florida (23) and Texas A&M (24). Virginia is the preseason No. 1, followed by Oregon State, Indiana, Cal State Fullerton and North Carolina State in the top five.
The Razorbacks have 21 games scheduled against preseason top 25 teams and 20 games against teams who have made the College World Series the last three seasons.
Arkansas opened preseason practice last Friday at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks' season opener is Feb. 14 against Appalachian State.