Vanderbilt will open the 2013 season as the third-ranked team in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball.
The Commodores return 23 lettermen from a year ago and have added the country's top-ranked recruiting class. Head Coach Tim Corbin has 10 players on the roster that started at least 10 games during the Commodores' 2012 campaign while 41 of the team's 63 starts on the mound are back led by junior Kevin Ziomek's team-best 16 starts. The return of seniors Connor Harrell and Mike Yastrzemski, who both turned professional contracts last summer, bolster strong junior and sophomore classes.
Offensively, the Dores return eight of the squad's starting nine from a year ago with the only loss at shortstop with departed All-SEC performer Anthony Gomez. Vanderbilt's starting rotation returns intact with Ziomek expected to join fellow junior T.J. Pecoraro and sophomore Tyler Beede, who all combined for 35 starts in 2012.
The Commodores host Long Beach State on opening weekend for a three-game series starting February 15. The season's first three weeks will feature 14 Vanderbilt games in Nashville with the lone road game coming at cross-town rival Belmont on February 19. The Dores' final non-conference weekend series comes at No. 6 Oregon March 8-10 before opening Southeastern Conference play at Auburn March 15-17. No. 24 Florida visits Hawkins Field March 22-24 for the first SEC games at Vanderbilt.
Arkansas is ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and leads five SEC teams in the top five and 10 in the poll's top 40. Vanderbilt is scheduled to play eight teams in the preseason poll.
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll
(As of Dec. 20, 2012)
1. Arkansas 2. North Carolina 3. Vanderbilt 4. LSU 5. UCLA 6. Oregon 7. South Carolina 8. Kentucky 9. Stanford 10. Oregon St. 11. N.C. State 12. San Diego 13. Mississippi St. 14. Oklahoma 15. TCU 16. Arizona St. 17. Georgia Tech 18. Arizona 19. Florida St. 20. Rice 21. Texas 22. Louisville 23. Cal. St. Fullerton 24. Florida 25. Mississippi
Peyton Manning is back at his alma mater this week endorsing new Tennessee coach Butch Jones and preaching patience from the Volunteers' fan base.The Denver Broncos quarterback returned to campus to speak at...More >>
Marc Gasol scored 20 points and hit two free throws with 1:03 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 87-81 Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in this Western Conference semifinal....More >>