UGA enters the USA TODAY Sports preseason baseball coaches top-25 poll for 2020 at No. 4. The USA TODAY poll was released on Thursday.
The Bulldogs’ No. 4 ranking is its best in the preseason since 2009 when Collegiate Baseball and the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches poll both had Georgia at No. 4. The 2009 team reached No. 1 for several weeks during the regular season.
The USA TODAY Sports voting board is made up of 31 coaches at Division I institutions and all are members of the American Baseball Coaches Association. The 2020 top-five featured Vanderbilt, Louisville, Texas Tech, Georgia and Arkansas.
The Bulldogs and Razorbacks are the only two schools to earn a national top-eight seed in each of the past two NCAA Championships. In 2019, the Bulldogs went 46-17 including a school-record 21 Southeastern Conference wins during the regular season. They were a No. 4 national seed in 2019 and a No. 8 national seed in 2018.
The 2020 season, under the direction of Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin, begins on Feb. 14. Season tickets are sold out but single-game tickets are available. Fans can call (706) 542-1231 to purchase tickets or go online at www.georgiadogs.com/tickets.
In 2020, Georgia welcomes back 20 lettermen and 18 newcomers. Seven starting position players return including two 2019 draft picks in Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Cam Shepherd and infielder/outfielder Riley King. On the mound, Georgia will have a pair of projected first-round draft prospects in right-handers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox. Also, junior left-hander C.J. Smith, who was a key member of the starting rotation that helped win series over nationally-ranked Vanderbilt and LSU in 2019, is back. Last year, Georgia went 46-17 and set a school record with a .980 Fielding Percentage, and its 3.24 Earned Run Average was the second-best in school history.
In other 2020 preseason top 25 polls, Georgia is ranked No. 5 by D1Baseball.com, No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 7 by Baseball America and No. 10 by Perfect Game.
Georgia resumes preseason preparations Friday at Foley Field. Selected returning lettermen will be available for interviews from 2-2:25 p.m. around the Georgia dugout (first base side) followed by Stricklin at 2:30 p.m. Media wishing to interview coaches and student-athletes should enter Foley Field through the left field gate via the commuter parking lot. Please note early batting practice will be going on from 1:45-2:30.