TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona Wildcats baseball team has been ranked No. 20 in the Collegiate Baseball Pre-Season Top 40 baseball poll. The Wildcats finished No. 25 in the publication's final 2011 poll last June.
Arizona is one of eight Pac-12 Conference teams on the list of 40 schools, which is the most for any league. Stanford leads the way at No. 3, followed by No. 17 Arizona State, No. 19 UCLA, No. 20 Arizona, No. 22 California, No. 24 Oregon State, No. 27 Oregon and No. 40 USC.
The Wildcats (39-21, 15-12 Pac-12) finished tied for fourth in the Pac-12 last season and earned a postseason berth for the second straight season and the seventh time in the last nine years.
Head coach Andy Lopez enters his 11th season at Arizona, where he has seven NCAA tournament appearances, a College World Series appearance, two 40-win seasons and an average of more than 37 wins per year since 2007.
The 2012 squad features five starting position players and two starting pitchers returning from year's club, along with several other key lettermen and a talented freshman class that was ranked No. 18 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
Arizona opens its 2012 campaign in February. The Wildcats open the season with a three-game series against North Dakota State (Feb. 17-19) and play their first 15 games of the year at the new home of Arizona baseball - Hi Corbett Field.