The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 45

Vandy tabbed preseason No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball Top spot in preseason poll is first for Dores Nashville, Tenn. – For the first time in program history Vanderbilt will open the season as the top-ranked team in the nation after garnering the top spot from Collegiate Baseball’s preseason poll. The Commodores are coming off the team’s first national championship in 2014 and return a talented and experienced roster for the 2015 season. Collegiate Baseball named four Commodores to its preseason All-American team, including three first team members in Walker Buehler, Carson Fulmer and Dansby Swanson. Two starting pitchers (Fulmer and Tyler Ferguson) from last season’s weekend rotation return along with six starting position players (Swanson, Bryan Reynolds, Rhett Wiseman, Zander Wiel, Jason Delay and Karl Ellison). In all, 17 letter winners from the championship roster return to West End for 2015. The No. 1 preseason ranking bests the program’s previous preseason high-mark of No. 2 in the Baseball America poll set in 2013. For the third straight season Vanderbilt will spend time at No. 1 in the nation having earned the top spot at various points in the in 2013 and 2014 seasons. Vanderbilt leads the way for the Southeastern Conference, which placed three teams in the top ten and seven teams in the Fabulous 40 poll. The Commodores’ 2015 schedule features games against No. 2 TCU, No. 6 Florida, No. 10 UCLA, No. 12 Louisville, No. 21 South Carolina, No. 33 Tennessee and No. 36 Arkansas. The Commodores open the season at Hawkins Field February 13 against Santa Clara at 4 p.m. The team’s annual banquet is set for January 31 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. A limited number of season tickets remain for the 2015 season. For more information on season tickets or the baseball banquet visit vucommodores.com or calling 615.322.GOLD. Baseball Tabbed No. 2 In Preseason Poll Frogs earn highest ranking since 2011 FORT WORTH - For the ninth time in the last 12 years the TCU baseball team has earned a spot in the preseason polls coming in at No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball poll released today. The ranking is TCU's highest since debuting at No. 1 in 2011. The Horned Frogs are no strangers to the preseason top 20 as they have been ranked 19th or higher in each of the last six pre-season polls. Since Jim Schlossnagle took over the program in 2004, the Frogs have been ranked 21 or higher nine times. TCU returns 13 letterwinners from last year's College World Series team. Additionally, four of the everyday field starters return as do eight pitchers. This past fall, TCU welcomed 16 new faces to the squad. No strangers to tough scheduling, the Horned Frogs 2015 slate of games features 22 games against opponents ranked in the top 35. TCU will play games against No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 10 UCLA, No. 22 Rice and No. 35 Loyola-Marymount in addition to weekend series against No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Texas, No. 9 Texas Tech, No. 13 Cal Poly, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 32 Wichita State. Two other Horned Frog opponents earned votes in the preseason poll. Keaton Jones is one of four field starters returning in 2015.