ATHENS, GA. - The University of Georgia baseball team made its debut at number 22 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper's Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I pre-season baseball poll announced Friday.
The Bulldogs finished tied for seventh at the College World Series last year after going 47-23. Georgia welcomes back 15 lettermen including five position player starters and seven pitchers that helped the Bulldogs to their second CWS appearance in the past three seasons under head coach David Perno.
The Bulldogs are one of eight Southeastern Conference schools in the initial poll. The Rice Owls are the top-ranked team. They finished third at the College World Series last season. The Owls return seven position player starters and six pitchers from a team that posted a 57-13 record. The rest of the pre-season top five teams are Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas and North Carolina. Also, Vanderbilt is eighth, Tennessee is 18th, Ole Miss is 20th, LSU is 31st and Miss. State is 32nd.
Also, Georgia junior pitcher Joshua Fields was named a third team preseason All-American by the publication. It is the second honor for Fields who earlier this month was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association pre-season All-America team. He is one of the nation's top returning closers who went 3-2 with a 1.80 ERA and school record 15 saves in 2006.
The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season. For a complete look at their poll and preseason All-Americans, go to www.baseballnews.com.