UA baseball No. 1 in the nation

The Arkansas Razorbacks' baseball team is ranked No. 1 in the nation in a preseason poll for the first time in program history.

Ryne Stanek was one of three Hogs named a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American on Thursday.

The Hogs, who are coming off a third-place finish in the College World Series, opened up at No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 40 poll that was released Thursday.

In addition to the preseason No. 1 ranking, juniors Dominic Ficociello, Ryne Stanek and Colby Suggs were named Louisville Slugger Preseason All-Americans on Thursday.

All 14 SEC baseball programs are either ranked or receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. Joining the Razorbacks in the top 40 are No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 LSU, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 24 Florida, No. 25 Ole Miss, No. 26 Texas A&M and No. 29 Georgia. Auburn, Alabama, Missouri and Tennessee are also receiving votes in the poll.

Arkansas finished the 2012 season with a 46-22 record and advanced to the College World Series for the seventh time in program history, finishing in a tie for third. The 46 victories were the most for the Razorbacks under head coach Dave Van Horn and the most in a season since the 1990 team won 47 games.

Arkansas finished the season ranked in the top six in all four of the major national college baseball polls, including a No. 3 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, the NCBWA poll and the Collegiate Baseball poll.

The Razorbacks return 10 pitchers from last year’s pitching staff that finished the season with a 2.83 team ERA, the second-lowest single-season ERA in program history.

Offensively, Arkansas returns six position players who made 30 or more starts during the 2012 season.

The Razorbacks open the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15, when they host Western Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Central.

Collegiate Baseball Top 40 Preseason Poll

1. Arkansas

2. North Carolina

3. Vanderbilt

4. LSU

5. UCLA

6. Oregon

7. South Carolina

8. Kentucky

9. Stanford

10. Oregon State

11. NC State

12. San Diego

13. Mississippi State

14. Oklahoma

15. TCU

16. Arizona State

17. Georgia Tech

18. Arizona

19. Florida State

20. Rice

21. Texas

22. Louisville

23. Cal State Fullerton

24. Florida

25. Ole Miss

26. Texas A&M

27. Clemson

28. Miami (Fla.)

29. Georgia

30. UC Irvine

31. Missouri State

32. Wichita State

33. New Mexico

34. Kent State

35. Virginia

36. Southern Miss

37. East Carolina

38. Coastal Carolina

39. Dallas Baptist

40. Pepperdine

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