The Hurricanes baseball team will begin the season ranked 14th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s preseason poll after finishing the 2011 season in the top 25 of several prominent polls. They were eliminated by the Florida Gators in the Gainesville Regional on June 5.
Miami has been ranked in the CBN preseason top 20 every year since 1994 (17 consecutive seasons) and 22 of the past 23 years. They’ve received eight top five preseason rankings since ’94, winning two national titles in that time frame.
The Gators, meanwhile, will enter the year atop the CBN poll, three points ahead of the South Carolina Gamecocks, who beat the Gators in the College World Series final series to capture the national title. Miami was playing in its 39th NCAA Regional, which is an NCAA record.
Miami is the fourth-highest ranked ACC team in the preseason poll, trailing North Carolina (4), Georgia Tech (9) and Florida State (13). The Canes enter the year with 18 letterwinners returning including the starting pitchers. E.J. Encinosa will move the bullpen, however.
Jim Morris will begin his 19th season as UM’s manager when the Canes open the season against Rutgers in a three-game series in Coral Gables beginning February 17. The Canes have won four College World Series titles (1982, 85, 99, 01) and have finished second twice (1974, 96); they’ve finished in the top four in six additional seasons (1978, 80, 86, 92, 95, 97).