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Tuesday February 12, 2013UF Baseball Selected To Finish Second In Eastern Division By SEC Coaches

Gainesville, Fla.

The University of Florida was predicted to finish in second place in the Eastern Division, as voted by the league’s 14 baseball coaches in the 22nd annual preseason SEC poll released on Tuesday.

 

Under the direction of sixth-year head coach Kevin O'Sullivan, the Gators return 18 letterwinners from last season's squad which finished 47-20 overall and advanced to the NCAA College World Series for the third-straight year.

 

Last spring, Florida was awarded the top national seed in the NCAA Tournament, its fourth-straight year within the Top-8 seeds, and became one of two programs to advance to the CWS in the last three campaigns. O’Sullivan’s club swept the NCAA Gainesville Regional with victories over Bethune-Cookman (4-0) and Georgia Tech (6-2, 15-3) and then defeated NC State twice (7-1, 9-8) in the Gainesville Super Regional to advance to the College World Series for the eighth time in school history (1988, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012).

 

The Gators reached the 40-win plateau for the 21st time in school history, the fourth-straight year under O’Sullivan, and the team has won 100 games in the past two seasons (53-19 in 2011 and 47-20 in 2012). 

 

Since 1996, the SEC has named a regular-season champion as well as a tournament champion. Prior to 1996, the tournament champion was considered the SEC Champion.

 

In addition to picking a preseason SEC Champion, the league’s head coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC Eastern and Western Divisions. In the Eastern Division, Vanderbilt was the favorite with 89 of a possible 91 points. The Gators came in second with 67 points, with Kentucky and South Carolina tied at third with 59. Arkansas received 90 points in the West, LSU was second with 75, while Mississippi State finished third with 59.

 

Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

 

The Gators will raise the curtain on their campaign on Friday at 7 p.m. versus Duke at McKethan Stadium. Season-ticket information is available by calling the Gator Ticket Office at 1-800-34-GATOR or by visiting www.GatorZone.com/tickets.

 

The 2013 SEC regular season begins Friday, with conference play set to begin Friday, March 15. The SEC Tournament will be played at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala., May 21-26. The 2012 SEC Baseball Tournament drew nearly 130,000 fans, a record for the event. Seven times in the last 10 years the tournament has surpassed the six-digit mark in total attendance. An NCAA-record 2,191,785 total fans and 5,181 fans per game attended games in the SEC last season. That marked the 11th year in a row that the SEC has topped the one million mark in attendance, leading the nation once again in that category by a wide margin.

 

2013 SEC Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll

Eastern Division

No.

Team

Pts.

2012 SEC Record/Finish

1.

Vanderbilt (12)

89

16-14/4th

2.

FLORIDA

67

18-12/T-2nd

3t.

Kentucky (1)

59

18-12/T-2nd

3t.

South Carolina (1)

59

18-11/1st

5.

Georgia

41

14-15/5th

6.

Tennessee

29

8-22/6th

7.

Missouri

23

Was in Big 12

 

Western Division

No.

Team

Pts.

2012 SEC Record/Finish

1.

Arkansas (12)

90

16-14/T-2nd

2.

LSU (1)

75

19-11/1st

3.

Mississippi State (1)

59

16-14/T-2nd

4.

Ole Miss

54

14-16/4th

5.

Texas A&M

51

Was in Big 12

6.

Alabama

26

9-21/6th

7.

Auburn

24

13-17/5th

 

SEC Champion: Arkansas (9), Vanderbilt (3), Kentucky (1), LSU (1)

 

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