Coming off its first conference title in 80 years and first trip to a Super Regional, the Kansas State baseball team earned its highest preseason ranking ever on Friday — checking in at No. 28 in Collegiate Baseball’s Fabulous 40 NCAA Division-I poll.
It is the first time K-State has been ranked in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40 Poll since 2011 when the Wildcats were No. 37.
The Wildcats finished No. 15 in last season’s final Collegiate Baseball Poll.
The Wildcats were one of five Big 12 teams ranked in the poll, including Oklahoma State (No. 18), TCU (No. 19), Texas (No. 20) and Oklahoma (No. 32). K-State won the Big 12 title last season after going 16-8 in conference play. The Wildcats and Sooners were the only two Big 12 teams to reach the Super Regional round of the NCAA postseason.
K-State’s first opponent of the 2014 season, Cal Poly, was ranked one spot ahead of the Wildcats at No. 27.
Cal State Fullerton was the poll’s top ranked team while the defending College World Series champions, UCLA, checked in at No. 15.
The Collegiate Baseball preseason poll factors in voting by NCAA Division-I coaches across the nation, how a team finished last season nationally, returning position player starters and pitchers, potential draft picks along with the quality of its recruiting class last fall.
The Collegiate Baseball preseason poll is the oldest college baseball poll since its birth in 1957.
K-State opens its 2014 season on Feb. 14 at Cal Poly, beginning an eight-game road trip in California.
The Wildcats open their 2014 home slate on Feb. 28 against Milwaukee, one of 28 scheduled home games at Tointon Family Stadium.