Tops in USA Today

Vanderbilt headlines USA Today preseason poll

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt is the cream of the crop according to USA Today, which named the defending national champions preseason No. 1 in its Top 25 rankings Thursday.

The Commodores will play a combined 18 games against Top 25 teams, including the season-opener against No. 11 Michigan on Feb. 14 at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. As a part of seven games against ranked opponents at Hawkins Field, Vanderbilt will host the annual Battle of the Barrel against No. 2 Louisville on May 5.

Vanderbilt is among nine SEC teams in the Top 25. The Commodores are joined by Georgia (No. 4), Arkansas (No. 5), Mississippi State (No. 6), Auburn (No. 9), Florida (No. 10), LSU (No. 12), Texas A&M (No. 21), and Ole Miss (No. 23).

On Tuesday, the Commodores led the nation with four student-athletes named preseason All-Americans by D1Baseball. Relief pitcher Tyler Brown, third baseman Austin Martin and starting pitcher Kumar Rocker were all tabbed as first-team selections. Starter Mason Hickman was named to the second team.