LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second time this season, the Kentucky baseball team has earned a preseason national ranking, checking in at No. 25 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason top-30, the organization announced Thursday.
Kentucky, coming off its most successful two-year run in the 103-year history of the UK baseball program, returns a veteran team from its 34-win season in 2007. Earlier in the preseason, UK was tabbed as the 20th ranked team by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The Wildcats have three players named to the Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year preseason Watch List, including outfielder Collin Cowgill, outfielder Sawyer Carroll, and right-handed pitcher Scott Green. Thus far in the preseason, Cowgill has earned two All-America nods, despite missing the entire 2007 season with an injury. Carroll, the Southeastern Conference leader in doubles in 2007 with 23 two-baggers, returns as one of the top hitters in the league, having batted .350 last season. Green, rated as the 12th-best prospect in college baseball by Baseball America, returns to the UK weekend rotation after tearing up the prestigious Cape Cod League to the tune of a 1.56 ERA, a 3-1 record, a save, striking out 35 in 40.1 innings.
The Wildcats open its season on Feb. 22 in Mobile, Ala., at the Coca-Cola Classic, facing off with Xavier.