LSU, ULL baseball ranked

LSU and the ULL are both ranked in the 2014 Baseball American magazine preseason poll released Monday.
LSU is ranked No. 9, while ULL is No. 14.
LSU, which had the nation’s best winning percentage in 2013 (57-11, .838), was the NCAA Tournament No. 4 National Seed last season and advanced to the College World Series for the 16th time in school history. The Tigers were ranked No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper preseason poll released in December.
LSU, who began preseason workouts Saturday, opens the 2014 season Feb. 14 versus New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The 2014 roster features 18 lettermen, including nine position players with starting experience and nine pitchers that have recorded innings for the Tigers. The LSU veterans are complemented by a talented class of 19 newcomers, rated No. 6 in the nation last month in the annual Perfect Game recruiting ranking.
LSU features two first-team preseason all-Americans — junior pitcher Aaron Nola, the 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year; and sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman, the 2013 National Freshman of the Year.
For ULL, the ranking is the highest ever for Louisiana-Lafayette in the preseason poll and is the Cajuns first appearance since 2008 when the team was ranked 18th in the Baseball America Preseason Poll.
The Cajuns are coming off a 43-20 season and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals.
“It’s good to be rewarded for the coaches and players hard work,” head coach Tony Robichaux said in a news release. “To get to the point of being recognized is an honor. We have to make sure that we don’t get caught up in everything and that we continue to work to be the best we can be. The most important ranking to us is the one at the end of the year.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns were ranked 23rd earlier this month in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll.
“We have to go out and play,” Robichaux added. “You don’t get crowned a champion off of rankings. We are getting prepared for that, and hopefully the rest will fall into place.”
The squad opens the season Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. when Louisiana-Lafayette hosts Eastern Illinois in the first game of a four-game series at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
In the Baseball America poll, Virginia is No. 1, followed by Oregon State, Indiana, Cal State Fullerton, North Carolina State, Florida State, South Carolina, Mississippi State, LSU and Vanderbilt.
The Southeastern Conference leads all leagues with eight teams in the Top 25, including five from the SEC Western Division.
The ACC is next with six teams in the Top 25, followed by the Big 12 and Pac-12 with three apiece.

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