Jan. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Miami (Florida)

DALLAS - The University of Miami baseball team earned its highest preseason ranking this season as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has tabbed the Hurricanes as the No. 12 team nationally in its preseason poll.

The preseason ranking is Miami's third this year, with Collegiate Baseball Newspaper placing the `Canes at No. 18 before Rivals.com tabbed the Hurricanes at No. 23 on Monday.

Miami's No. 12 ranking in the NCBWA poll marks the second straight season the `Canes opened the year in that position. The 2008 Hurricanes would go on to finish 53-11 and close out the season at No. 5 after reaching their 11th College World Series in head coach Jim Morris' 15-year tenure at UM.

This year's team is headlined by three preseason All-Americans in sophomore left-hander Chris Hernandez, junior right-hander Kyle Bellamy and junior shortstop Ryan Jackson. In total, the 2009 `Canes feature 18 returning players - including 16 letterwinners - along with a group of 14 newcomers that includes three junior college transfers and 11 true freshmen.

This season marks the 12th year of the NCBWA's preseason poll. Its voters come from 32 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation. After a preseason Top 35 listing, the remainder of the polls throughout the season will feature a national Top 30.

North Carolina was selected as the NCBWA's preseason No. 1. In total, five ACC teams earned a preseason ranking, with Florida State (No. 6), Georgia Tech (No. 13) and Clemson (No. 26) joining the Hurricanes and the Tar Heels in the poll.
Miami opens its 2009 season at newly-renovated Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Friday, Feb. 20 against Rutgers. For ticket information for the 2009 season, call 1-800-GO-CANES, visit www.hurricanesports.com or email canestix@miami.edu.