Dec. 20, 2012
2013 CBN Preseason Top 40 Poll | 2013 CBN Preseason All-Americans
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Purdue baseball is one of seven Big Ten Conference teams receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40 poll, a list that features 10 universities on the Boilermakers' 2013 regular-season schedule.
Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State were among the seven Big Ten teams included in the receiving votes portion of the poll. However, the Boilers will not play Indiana and Minnesota during the regular season for the second year in a row. Purdue hosts Ohio State (March 22-24) and Nebraska (April 19-21) and travels to Illinois (April 12-14) and Michigan State (April 26-28).
Two nonconference opponents are ranked among the CBN's Preseason Top 40. Purdue plays at No. 13 Mississippi State the weekend of Feb. 22-24, visiting Starkville, Miss., for the first time since the 1987 NCAA Regionals. The Boilermakers take on No. 22 Louisville Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge and also play the Cardinals March 13 in Kentucky. Purdue has defeated U of L in midweek action each of the last two seasons.
South Florida, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, and Eastern Michigan represent the Boilers' nonconference opponents also receiving votes in the preseason poll. Purdue hosts Southern Illinois for a three-game series May 3-5 while both teams are idle from conference play. A home-and-home midweek series with Indiana State is scheduled this season. The 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifiers will play twice in a week's time in early April. The Boilermakers take on South Florida on day two of the season-opening Big East/Big Ten Challenge and host Eastern Michigan May 14 for the finale of midweek play.
Purdue is the defending Big Ten regular season and tournament champion, winning a program-record 45 games and hosting an NCAA Regional at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind., last season. The Boilermakers were nationally ranked for much of the campaign but were only receiving votes in the CBN Top 40 to begin the year. There were five Big Ten teams receiving votes in the same preseason poll a season ago.
Purdue lost seven starting position players and its top four pitchers from the Big Ten championship team. Seven of those 11 players went on to play in Minor League Baseball. Nineteen new players participated in fall practice and the Boilers are guaranteed of having a double-figure total of true freshmen on the official 35-man roster this season. Angelo Cianfrocco, Sean McHugh, Robert Ramer and Stephen Talbott are back after being significant contributors on the championship team. Brad Schreiber and Kyle Wood return from injury to bolster the pitching staff. Along with the newcomers, sophomores like Brandon Krieg, Bennett Oliver and Kyle Upp are projected to have the first opportunities to impact the program going forward after their playing time was scarce on the 2012 veteran-laden team.
All four teams -- Kent State (No. 34 in 2013 preseason poll), Kentucky (No. 8), Valparaiso (receiving votes) and Purdue -- from the 2012 Gary Regional are among the CBN preseason poll. Meanwhile, along with Louisville there are six teams that the Boilers defeated in 2012 ranked among the 2013 Top 40: No. 5 UCLA, No. 31 Missouri State, No. 32 Wichita State, No. 36 Southern Miss and No. 37 East Carolina.
The Jan. 4, 2013 print edition of Collegiate Baseball newspaper also includes a complete look at every NCAA Division I Conference with preseason rankings and a listing of top players in each league, including projected pitchers and players of the year. Also featured are the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American teams and a draft preview of all potential college players who may be picked in the first two rounds of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft in June.