When Vanderbilt begins baseball practice on Friday the Commodores will carry a top 10 preseason ranking onto the field.
Baseball America ranked Vanderbilt 10th in its preseason poll. The Commodores are one of seven Southeastern Conference teams in the top 25. Four league teams are ahead of them — No. 1 Florida, No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Arkansas and No. 8 LSU. Georgia sits one spot behind at 11th and Ole Miss slots in at 22nd.
Vanderbilt is coming off a historic season in which it went 54-12, won a share of the SEC regular-season crown and reached its first College World Series in school history.
The Commodores must replace most of its pitching staff but return six starters to the lineup, including last season’s SEC Freshman of the Year Tony Kemp.
They also bring in the nation’s top recruiting class, according to Baseball America.
Vanderbilt begins its season on Feb. 17 with a three-game series at No. 2 Stanford. The Commodores took two of three from the Cardinal last season.
The home opener is Feb. 22 against Oakland (Mich.).