The Louisville baseball team earned a pair of preseason top 20 rankings on Monday as Perfect Game slotted the Cardinals at No. 16 and Baseball America ranked them at No. 20.
Overall, Louisville is ranked in the top 20 in each of the first three preseason national polls, including a No. 8 ranking by Collegiate Baseball newspaper last month. The Cardinals have earned preseason top 25 rankings in seven straight seasons under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell.
Future ACC foe Virginia sits atop both the Perfect Game and Baseball America preseason rankings. No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Indiana complete the top five in the Perfect Game Top 25, while Oregon State (2), Indiana (3), Cal State Fullerton (4) and NC State (5) round out the Baseball America top five.
The Cardinals return 19 letterwinners from last year’s squad, which won a school record 51 games, the program’s fourth regular season conference title in five seasons and hosted NCAA postseason games for the fourth time. Louisville capped the season by defeating No. 2 national seed Vanderbilt in the Nashville Super Regional to clinch the program’s second College World Series berth.
Louisville will open the 2014 slate on Feb. 14-16 in Charleston, S.C., at the Homewood Suites Tournament hosted by The Citadel, while the Cardinals’ home-opener is set for Feb. 19 at 3 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium against Eastern Kentucky.