TUCSON - The defending national champion Arizona baseball team garnered a No. 14 ranking in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 2013 Division I preseason poll released on Monday.
The five major polls have the Wildcats scattered anywhere from No. 10 to No. 24. The USA Today coaches' poll has Arizona at No. 10, boosted by three first-place votes. Collegiate Baseball tabs the Wildcats at No. 18, while PerfectGame.org and Baseball America have UA at Nos. 22 and 24, respectively.
Arizona began official preseason practices last Friday and will continue preparations in the coming weeks for the start of the 2013 season against Coppin State on Feb. 15.
The first opportunity for fans to catch the Wildcats in action will be at Meet the Team Day on Saturday, Feb. 2. Gates at Hi Corbett Field will open at 10 a.m. for batting practice, followed by an intrasquad scrimmage at noon and a post-game autograph session with head coach Andy Lopez and the 2013 Arizona baseball team.
Admission and parking to "Meet the Team Day" is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis in all areas (no reserved seating for this event). Concessions, schedule cards and posters will be available, and fans can purchase season tickets, mini-plans or individual game tickets on site for the upcoming season.
Arizona will then open its 2013 promotional schedule on Opening Day (Feb. 15) with a special National Championship Recognition Night. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative 2012 national championship rally towel and there will be a postgame fireworks show.
Select stars from the championship team will be on hand for a pregame autograph session. They will also throw out the first pitch for the 6 p.m. game.
Arizona in the Rankings
USA Today: 10
Collegiate Baseball: 18
Baseball America: 24