AUBURN, Ala. — Arkansas is ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today baseball coaches’ poll nationally, and the SEC managers acted accordingly in projecting the experience-laden Razorbacks to wear the league crown.
Arkansas returns five position players and ten pitchers from last year’s team, which made the College World Series semifinals. The Hogs garnered 9 of 14 first-place votes, with three coaches favoring Vanderbilt, one picking Kentucky and another taking LSU. (Coaches could not vote for their own team.)
Auburn, coming off a 31-28 season (13-17 SEC), is tabbed to finish in last place in the SEC West, getting two less votes than Alabama. The Tigers have not won a postseason SEC tournament since 1998, and are seeking their first regular season title since 1976.
Teams open season in non-conference play Friday, and league series begin March 15. The SEC Tournament will be held May 21-26 in Hoover, Ala.