Jan. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Baylor

DALLAS, Texas — Baylor baseball was ranked 19th in the preseason National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 35, the organization announced Tuesday. This is the second outlet to rank the Bears in its preseason rankings; Collegiate Baseball listed Baylor 15th last month.

As was the case with the Collegiate Baseball preseason rankings, Baylor was the highest ranked program in the NCBWA Top 35 that did not participate in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Bears were 32-26 overall last season and finished sixth in the Big 12 Conference with an 11-16 league mark.

Baylor was the fourth of six Big 12 teams in the NCBWA Top 35. Defending conference champion Texas A&M was ranked fourth, Texas was eighth, Oklahoma State was 16th, Missouri was 20th and Oklahoma was 28th. Nebraska was among teams also receiving votes.

North Carolina earned the top spot in the preseason ranking, followed by LSU and Rice. Other schools in the top 10 were No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Florida State, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 9 Stanford and No. 10 Cal State Fullerton. Four 2009 Baylor opponents are in the rankings in addition to the five other Big 12 schools: Rice, UC Irvine (15th), UCLA (25th) and TCU (32nd).

Baylor returns 19 letterwinners this season, including eight position starters and six pitchers. The Bears open their 2009 season Feb. 20-22, hosting University of the Pacific for a three-game series at Baylor Ballpark.