The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has ranked Kentucky No. 12 in its preseason poll, giving the Wildcats a consensus top-15 ranking entering the 2013 season.
Each of the five main preseason polls have Gary Henderson's club in its top 15, including a high mark of No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball. It marks the highest preseason ranking in program history.
The Cats will play a total of 24 games against teams ranked in the preseason NCBWA poll, including nine games against the top five, 17 games against the top 20 and 23 games versus top 25 foes.
Last year, Kentucky posted a 15-10 record against top 25 teams, the second-most wins against ranked foes in UK history. The Cats also went 10-4 against the top 10.
Kentucky enters the season boasting three preseason All-America selections, including sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino, junior starting pitcher Corey Littrell and sophomore two-way standout A.J. Reed.
The Cats will open the season on Friday, Feb. 15, in Spartanburg, S.C., against UNC Asheville at 12 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action.
NCBWA Preseason Poll
2. North Carolina
6. South Carolina
9. NC State
10. Oregon State
11. Florida State
16. Mississippi State
20. San Diego
21. Georgia Tech
22. Arizona State
23. Cal State Fullerton
24. Texas A&M
25. Ole Miss
31. Kent State
32. Southern Miss
33. UC Irvine
34. New Mexico
35. Coastal Carolina
Gott On Preseason Watch List
Kentucky's Trevor Gott has been named to the preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award, given annually to the nation's top reliever.
The junior right-hander from Lexington is one of six SEC relievers on the watch list, joining Barrett Astin (Arkansas), Jonathan Holder (Mississippi State), Brett Huber (Ole Miss), Colby Suggs (Arkansas) and Tyler Webb (South Carolina).
Gott – the 2010 Gatorade Kentucky High School Player of the Year out of Tates Creek High School – set the UK single-season record with nine saves in 10 chances as a sophomore. He posted a 3-0 record and a 2.16 ERA in 23 games out of the bullpen, tossing 25 innings, allowing 17 hits and seven walks, striking out 38.
Gott limited opponents to a .189 average and was particularly dominant against SEC foes, not allowing a hit in his first five innings. He finished the year ranked seventh in the league in saves and third in games finished.
In his two-year UK career, Gott has appeared in 46 games with a 5-4 record and a 2.92 ERA. He has saved 11 games and worked 52.1 innings, allowing 57 hits and 23 walks, striking out 72. With 11 career saves, Gott ranks fourth best in UK history.
Baseball writers tab Cats No. 12
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