Four BIG EAST Baseball Teams Ranked in Collegiate Baseball Top 40 Pre-Season Poll

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -Connecticut led a pack of four BIG EAST baseball teams ranked in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 40 Pre-Season Poll. The Huskies came in at No. 16, with Louisville at No. 20, St. John's at No. 26 and Pittsburgh at No. 30. USF is also receiving votes in the poll.
 
The Huskies, picked No. 16, finished second in the BIG EAST regular season in 2010 with a 20-6 conference record. Connecticut finished 48-16 overall, falling in the finals of the BIG EAST Championship before advancing to the NCAA Regional round. The squad returns All-BIG EAST First Team pitcher Matt Barnes along with All-BIG EAST Second Team outfielder George Springer.
 
Selected at No. 20, Louisville won its second-straight BIG EAST regular-season title in 2010 with a 21-6 league record. The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 50-14 overall record and qualified for the NCAA Championship. All-BIG EAST First Team second baseman Ryan Wright returns to a strong UofL lineup.
 
St. John's, the 2010 BIG EAST Champion, comes in at No. 26 in the poll. The Red Storm will be led by 2010 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and All-BIG EAST First Team outfielder Jeremy Baltz. Also returning is last year's BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player, pitcher Kyle Hansen. St. John's finished fourth in the BIG EAST with a 16-11 record in the league and 43-20 overall and reached the NCAA regional.
 
Pittsburgh rounds out the BIG EAST teams in the rankings at No. 30 after finishing fourth in the conference in 2010 with an 18-8 record. The Panthers were 38-18 overall, and return their top two pitchers from last season- Corey Baker and Matt Iannazzo- who combined for a 22-5 record last season.
 
USF received votes in the poll. The Bulls were fifth in the BIG EAST at 16-11 in 2010 and were 26-32 overall.
 
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's
 
NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll
 
(As of Dec. 20, 2010)
 
Rank School ('10 Final Record)
Points
1. Texas Christian (54-14)
495
2. Florida (47-17)
494
3. UCLA (51-17)
493
4. Clemson (45-25)
489
5. Vanderbilt (46-20)
486
6. Oklahoma (50-18)
483
7. Texas (50-13)
481
8. Texas A&M (43-21-1)
480
9. Oregon (40-24)
479
10. Stanford (31-25)
474
 
 
11. Arizona St. (52-10)
473
12. Cal. St. Fullerton (46-18)
470
13. Florida St. (48-20)
469
14. South Carolina (54-16)
467
15. Louisiana St. (41-22)
465
16. Connecticut (48-16)
462
17. Virginia (51-14)
457
18. Miami, Fla. (43-20)
455
19. Georgia Tech. (47-15)
454
20. Louisville (50-14)
451
 
 
21. Rice (40-23)
450
22. Arizona (34-24)
445
23. Wichita St. (41-19)
443
24. Coastal Carolina (55-10)
440
25. Auburn (43-21)
437
26. St. John's (43-20)
435
27. North Carolina (38-32)
434
28. San Diego (37-22)
427
29. Fresno St. (38-25)
426
30. Pittsburgh (38-18)
425
 
 
31. Washington St. (37-22)
422
32. Arkansas (43-21)
418
33. California (29-25)
417
34. U.C. Irvine (39-21)
414
35. College of Charleston (44-19)
412
36. Florida Atlantic (37-24)
409
37. Kansas St. (37-22)
407
38. Hawaii (35-28)
402
39. Baylor (36-24)
401
40. Kent St. (39-25)
398
 
Other Teams Receiving Votes: Florida International, U.C. Riverside, N.C.
State, Oregon St., Mississippi, Kentucky, Southern California, Washington, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi St., Oklahoma St., Missouri, USF, Nebraska, Cal Poly, Long Beach St., U.C. Santa Barbara, Florida Gulf Coast, Liberty, Minnesota, Michigan, James Madison, Southern Mississippi, East Carolina, Central Florida, Central Michigan, Bethune-Cookman, Illinois St., San Diego St., Tennessee Tech., The Citadel, Texas St., Northwestern St., Oral Roberts, Louisiana Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Lamar, Portland, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, Nevada, New Mexico St., San Jose St., Charlotte, Mercer, East Tennessee St., Jacksonville, Georgia St., Tulane, Utah Valley St., New Mexico, Stony Brook, Iowa, Wisc.-Milwaukee, Canisius, Bryant, Jacksonville St., Dallas Baptist, Le Moyne.