LSU baseball ranked preseason 15th

LSU is ranked No. 15 in the 2006 Collegiate Baseball magazine pre-season poll released Friday. Defending national champion Texas is No. 1 in the poll, followed by Florida, Oregon State, Nebraska and Rice.

LSU is the second-highest ranked Southeastern Conference team, trailing only No. 2 Florida.

 

The Tigers, who are seeking their third College World Series berth in four seasons, open the 2006 season on Feb. 10 when they play host to North Florida at 6:30 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium.

 

Smoke Laval's first four seasons as coach of the LSU program have featured several significant accomplishments, as he has directed the Tigers to two College World Series appearances, one SEC championship, two SEC Western Division titles and two Top 10 finishes. Laval, the 2003 SEC Coach of the Year, has also guided LSU to the best SEC regular-season record in the past four seasons, posting a 75-43-1 (.634) mark.       

 

Laval hopes to produce similar results in 2006, though some of the Tigers' methods may change. Laval's previous clubs have, for the most part, been veteran teams with powerful sluggers. The '06 LSU squad is a young group (25 freshmen and sophomores) that will take a different offensive approach.

           

"We won't have the type of lineup we've had in recent years with big power numbers and high slugging percentages," Laval said. "This club will be young and fun to watch. We'll do more running, steal more bases, and we'll have more speed defensively."

 

The '06 squad features 15 returning lettermen -- including seven pitchers and six position players with starting experience – and 15 newcomers (11 high school signees, three JUCO players and one four-year college transfer).

 

LSU will play 27 of its 56 regular-season games against teams that appear in the Collegiate Baseball Top 40 poll. Ranked opponents on the Tigers' 2006 schedule include No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Rice, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 19 Tennessee, No. 20 Ole Miss, No. 24 Tulane, No. 32 Houston, No. 33 Arkansas, No. 34 Mississippi State and No. 37 Stetson.

 

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's          

NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll

(As of Dec. 23, 2005)                    

Rank School ('05 Final Record)      Points      Final '05 Rank

1. Texas (56-16)                    496         1

2. Florida (48-23)                  492         2

3. Oregon St. (46-12)               490         7

4. Nebraska (57-15)                 489         6

5. Rice (45-19)                     487         16

6. Clemson (43-23)                  484         13

7. North Carolina (41-19-1)         482         21

8. Florida St. (53-20)              479         15

9. Cal. St. Fullerton (46-18)       476         9

10. Georgia Tech (45-19)            475         10

11. Miami, Fla. (41-19-1)           473         14

12. Arizona St. (42-25)             470         3

13. Pepperdine (41-23)              469         23

14. Missouri (40-23)                467         -

15. LSU (40-22)                     466         19

16. Long Beach St. (37-22)          463         18

17. South Carolina (41-23)          461         26

18. Florida Atlantic (37-24)        459         -

19. Tennessee (46-21)               458         8

20. Mississippi (48-20)             456         11

21. Southern California (41-22)     455         17

22. Notre Dame (38-24-1)            453         -

23. Baylor (46-24)                  450         4

24. Tulane (56-12)                  449         5

25. Stanford (34-25)                447         -

26. Wichita St. (51-24)             444         27

27. Texas Christian (41-20)         443         29

28. Winthrop (44-22)                440         -

29. Oklahoma (35-26)                438         -

30. Southern Miss. (41-21)          435         -

31. Arizona (39-21)                 434         12

32. Houston (29-30)                 430         -

33. Arkansas (39-22)                428         -

34. Mississippi St. (42-22)         427         -

35. San Francisco (38-18)           425         -

36. San Diego (30-27-1)             422         -

37. Stetson (35-28)                 419         -

38. Washington (33-22)              415         -

39. Georgia (30-25)                 413         -

40. Fresno St. (30-29)              409         -

 

Other Teams Receiving Votes: Cal Poly SLO, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Auburn, California, UCLA, Ohio St., North Carolina St., Coastal Carolina, Louisville, U.C. Irvine, Virginia Commonwealth, Miami (Ohio), Oral Roberts, Central Florida, East Carolina, Central Michigan, Southern Illinois, Nevada-Las Vegas, San Diego St., Maine, Birmingham Southern, Jacksonville St., South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, Florida International, Loyola Marymouht, Army, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern, N.C. Charlotte, Richmond, Western Carolina, Northwestern St., Lamar, Southern.


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