From LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU is ranked No. 9 in the 2014 Baseball America magazine preseason poll released Monday. Virginia is No. 1 in the poll, followed by Oregon State, Indiana, Cal State Fullerton, North Carolina State, Florida State, South Carolina, Mississippi State, LSU and Vanderbilt.
The Southeastern Conference leads all leagues with eight teams in the Top 25, including five from the SEC Western Division. The ACC is next with six teams in the Top 25, followed by the Big 12 and Pac-12 with three apiece.
LSU, which had the nation's best winning percentage in 2013 (57-11, .838), was the NCAA Tournament No. 4 National Seed last season and advanced to the College World Series for the 16th time in school history. The Tigers were ranked No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper preseason poll released in December.
The Tigers, who began preseason workouts on Saturday, open the 2014 season at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 14 versus New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The 2014 roster features 18 lettermen, including nine position players with starting experience and nine pitchers that have recorded innings for the Tigers. The LSU veterans are complemented by a talented class of 19 newcomers, rated No. 6 in the nation last month in the annual Perfect Game recruiting ranking.
LSU features two first-team preseason all-Americans – junior pitcher Aaron Nola, the 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year; and sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman, the 2013 National Freshman of the Year.
Other returning position players include senior all-SEC third baseman Christian Ibarra, senior outfielder Sean McMullen, junior outfielder Chris Sciambra, junior catcher/infielder Tyler Moore, junior outfielder Jared Foster, sophomore outfielder Mark Laird, sophomore outfielder Andrew Stevenson and sophomore catcher Chris Chinea.
Nola is joined on the pitching staff by several capable veterans including senior right-hander Kurt McCune, junior left-hander Cody Glenn and junior right-hander Joe Broussard, who returns this season after receiving a medical redshirt in 2013 due to an elbow injury.