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Baseball Garners Top 20 Preseason Ranking
Justin Gonzalez will serve as the Seminoles' captain in 2013.

Justin Gonzalez will serve as the Seminoles' captain in 2013.

Dec. 20, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After a run to the College World Series and a top four finish to end the 2012 season, the Florida State baseball team will open the 2013 campaign ranked No. 19 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Preseason top 40 poll.

Florida State returns 20 players including five positions starters and nine pitchers who threw at least 15.0 innings last year. Despite losing three starting infielders, a starter in center field and one of the top closers in the nation, the Seminoles welcome back four starting pitchers in Freshmen All-Americans Mike Compton and Brandon Leibrandt, senior right hander Scott Sitz and junior right hander Peter Miller. Catcher Stephen McGee is also back after starting all 67 games from behind the plate a season ago.

Senior captain Justin Gonzalez will pace the Seminole offense as the top returning hitter in runs scored (42), hits (54), home runs (9) and RBI (42). Sophomore Jose Brizuela, who made a majority of his starts in left field, will move to third base in 2013, while Seth Miller and Josh Delph, who played significant innings last year, will see playing time in the outfield.

There are plenty of new faces in the clubhouse this year as the Seminoles welcome 16 newcomers including nine freshmen and seven junior college transfers. This year's incoming class, which was also ranked 19th-nationally by Collegiate Baseball, is made up of five pitchers (including two left handers), five infielders, four outfielders, one catcher and one utility player (listed on the roster at two or more positions including pitcher and catcher).

Four of the student-athletes in this year's incoming class were selected in the MLB First Year Player Draft - three in 2012 and one in 2010. Those four individuals include two-sport standout Jameis Winston (15th round, Texas), DJ Stewart (28th round, NY Yankees), John Sansone (39th round, Detroit) and Hayden Jordan (49th round in 2010, Baltimore).

Thirteen teams featured on the 2013 schedule recorded 30 or more wins a season ago. Seven schools earned a bid to participate in the 2012 NCAA Regional, while six teams are featured in the top 40 preseason rankings.

The Seminoles will look to return to Omaha in 2013 when the season begins Friday, February 15 at 4:00 p.m. as Florida State hosts the University of Rhode Island for a three-game series on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Field.

2013 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40 Poll
Rank School ('12 Final Record) Points
1. Arkansas (46-22) 496
2. North Carolina (46-16) 495
3. Vanderbilt (35-28) 494
4. Louisiana St. (47-18) 487
5. UCLA (48-16) 484
6. Oregon (46-19) 482
7. South Carolina (49-20) 481
8. Kentucky (45-18) 478
9. Stanford (41-18) 476
10. Oregon St. (40-20) 473

11. N.C. State (43-20) 470
12. San Diego (40-17) 467
13. Mississippi St. (40-24) 464
14. Oklahoma (42-25) 462
15. Texas Christian (40-22) 460
16. Arizona St. (36-20) 458
17. Georgia Tech. (38-26) 456
18. Arizona (48-17) 454
19. Florida St. (50-17) 452
20. Rice (41-19) 450

21. Texas (30-22) 448
22. Louisville (41-22) 446
23. Cal. St. Fullerton (36-21) 445
24. Florida (47-20) 443
25. Mississippi (37-26) 437
26. Texas A&M (43-18) 434
27. Clemson (35-28) 429
28. Miami, Fla. (36-23) 427
29. Georgia (31-26) 423
30. U.C. Irvine (31-25) 420

31. Missouri St. (40-22) 418
32. Wichita St. (35-25) 415
33. New Mexico (37-24) 413
34. Kent St. (47-20) 411
35. Virginia (39-19-1) 408
36. Southern Mississippi (32-24) 405
37. East Carolina (36-24-1) 403
38. Coastal Carolina (42-19) 400
39. Dallas Baptist (41-19) 397
40. Pepperdine (36-23) 395

OTHER TEAMS RECEIVING VOTES: Central Florida, Baylor, Oklahoma St., Long Beach St., Cal Poly, U.C. Santa Barbara, Tulane, St. John's, South Florida, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Florida Atlantic, College of Charleston, Fresno St., Indiana St., Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Southern Illinois, Nevada, San Diego St., Nevada-Las Vegas, South Alabama, Florida International, Gonzaga, Texas St., New Mexico St., Western Carolina, Appalachian St., Georgia Southern, Sam Houston St., Southeastern Louisiana, Southern California, Washington, California, Washington St., Oral Roberts, Austin Peay St., Stony Brook, S.C. Upstate, Kennesaw St., Mercer, Florida Gulf Coast, St. Louis, Rhode Island, Virginia Commonwealth, Liberty, Campbell, High Point, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan St., Ohio St., Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, N.C. Wilmington, Hofstra, James Madison, Valparaiso, Manhattan, Canisius, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Bethune-Cookman, Southern, Bryant, Monmouth, Belmont.

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