The Nebraska baseball team was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll by a vote of the league coaches released Tuesday morning.
The Huskers, coming off a season where they went 41-16-1 and advanced to an NCAA Regional for the eighth time in nine seasons, totaled 38 points in voting by the league’s coaches. In 2008, the Huskers were picked sixth in the preseason poll and finished in third place in the final league standings, staying in contention for the league’s regular-season title until the final weekend of the year. Nebraska has finished fourth or better in five of the last six years under Head Coach Mike Anderson, including regular-season titles in 2003 and 2005.
Nebraska returns five everyday starters from a year ago, including infielders Jake Mort and Ben Kline, outfielders Nick Sullivan and DJ Belfonte and designated hitter Cody Neer. The Huskers also return Jeff Tezak, who was a second-team All-Big 12 performer in 2007, but took a medical redshirt last season. The pitching staff is led by senior Erik Bird, who went 5-1 last season and Mike Nesseth, who went 4-1 with four saves in 27 appearances.
Texas A&M was the choice of the league’s coaches, garnering 81 points in the preseason voting and nine of the 10 first-pace votes. Runner-up Texas was the second choice, as the Longhorns received 69 points. Baylor and Oklahoma State tied for third with 59 points, while Missouri (51) and Oklahoma (42) placed fifth and sixth. Each of the league’s top six teams has been ranked in the top 20 by at least one national preseason poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Following Nebraska in the preseason poll were Texas Tech (25), Kansas State (15) and Kansas (11.)
Courtesy: NU Media Relations