Jan. 24, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. - The Rice baseball team is sixth in the country in Baseball America's preseason rankings for the upcoming 2012 season, the publication announced from its headquarters in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday (Jan. 24). Baseball America's full 2012 preseason poll appears below and at the publication's web site a the above link.
The Baseball America poll is only a few days before the Owls' first team practice of the 2012 season, scheduled for Friday (Jan. 27) at Reckling Park. Rice is Baseball America's highest ranked team in the state of Texas and in Conference USA.
Last spring the Rice baseball team went 42-21 and advanced to an NCAA Regional for a 17th-straight year. Under the direction of head coach Wayne Graham, who is now in his 21st season at the helm of the program, the Owls have won at least 40 games in each of the last 17 seasons and have won or shared 16-consecutive conference championships (including regular season and/or conference tournament titles).
Rice returns 22 experienced lettermen to the roster in 2012, including eight returning starters in the field and a host of veteran pitchers led by sophomore right-hander Austin Kubitza. The Owls have a highly-touted group of incoming freshmen players making their Division I debut this spring. Last month the Owls were ranked seventh in Collegiate Baseball`s preseason poll.
The Rice baseball program will host its biennial Alumni Game on February 4 at Reckling Park at 11 am. A host of former players will be back on campus and many will participate in an alumni-vs.-alumni exhibition game. The sixth-ranked Owl varsity will practice later that same day, but will not play alumni as per NCAA rules. The varsity officially opens the 2012 season with a three-game home series at Reckling Park against NCAA Regional participant Florida International on Feb. 17-19.
Baseball America's 2012 Preseason Rankings
Rank Team 2011 Record
1. Florida 53-19
2. Stanford 35-22
3. South Carolina 55-14
4. Arkansas 40-22
5. Arizona 39-21 NR
6. Rice 42-21
7. Texas A&M 47-22
8. Louisiana State 36-20
9. North Carolina 51-16
10. Vanderbilt 54-12
11. Georgia 33-22 NR
12. Georgia Tech 42-21
13. Texas 49-19
14. UCLA 35-24
15. Texas Christian 43-19
16. Clemson 43-20
17. Arizona State 43-18
18. Miami 38-23
19. Oklahoma 41-19
20. Florida State 46-19
21. Central Florida 39-23
22. Mississippi 30-25
23. Oregon State 41-19
24. Louisville 32-29
25. Cal State Fullerton 41-17
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