Gators Ranked Preseason No. 1

The first preseason college baseball poll was announced Monday by Collegiate Baseball, and the Gators are the publication's No. 1 team. Florida came in just ahead of two-time defending national champion South Carolina.

The SEC put six teams in the Top 40 of the poll, with four of those coming in the top 12. Arkansas came in at No. 8 while LSU is No. 12. After struggling through last season, Georgia came in at No. 18. After reaching the College World Series last season, Vanderbilt earned a preseason ranking of No. 23.

Florida rivals Florida State and Miami came in at No. 13 and No. 14, respectively.

The Gators will open the season at home February 17-19 against Cal State Fullerton, which came in at No. 21 in the preseason poll.

No. 1 Florida will travel to No. 2 South Carolina March 22-24 in a rematch of the two teams that played for the 2011 national championship. The Gamecocks swept that series in two games.

UCF made the rankings at No. 36 and Jacksonville came in at No. 38. Florida will play both of them in midweek games this season.

The Gators return seven starting position players and all three starting pitchers. The Gators also return three relievers that all posted an ERA of 2.09 of lower.

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