Louisville Baseball Team Ranked No. 15 in Top 25

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Published on January 23 2013 1:17 pm
Last Updated on January 23 2013 1:17 pm
Written by Millie Lange

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville baseball team earned its second preseason ranking of 2013 on Tuesday as the Cardinals were slotted at No. 15 in the Perfect Game Preseason Top 25.

Ranked among the Top 25 in a preseason poll for the sixth straight season under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell, the Cardinals were ranked 22nd in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper Fabulous 40 released last month. Future ACC foe North Carolina is the top ranked team in the Perfect Game preseason poll, while Arkansas enters at No. 2 overall.

Louisville, which won its third BIG EAST regular season title in the last four seasons in 2012, is led in 2013 by the return of seven of its school record 10 All-BIG EAST performers from last season, including second team outfielders Adam Engel and Cole Sturgeon. Most of the Cardinals' pitching staff returns for 2013, led by All-BIG EAST right-hander Jeff Thompson as well as BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and Freshman All-American righty Jared Ruxer.

Overall, Louisville returns 21 letterwinners from the 2012 team, which finished 41-22 and advanced to an NCAA Regional for the fifth time in six seasons. In his six previous seasons leading the Cardinals, McDonnell is 258-122 with three BIG EAST regular-season titles, two BIG EAST Tournament titles, two NCAA Super Regional appearances and one College World Series berth.

Louisville will open the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 against Indiana (7:30 p.m., ET) in Dunedin, Fla., at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. The Cardinals' 36-game home slate at the newly expanded Jim Patterson Stadium is set to open on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m., ET against Eastern Kentucky.

Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.