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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team has been ranked 13th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) preseason poll, released today by the organization. It marks the Cavaliers’ highest ranking in any of the major national preseason polls.

Virginia also has been tabbed 14th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, 15th in the Baseball America rankings and 17th in the Collegiate Baseball poll. UVa also was voted the favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division in the 2011 ACC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll.

Six ACC teams are ranked in the NCBWA preseason poll – Clemson (7), Florida State (10), Virginia (13), Miami (20), Georgia Tech (21) and North Carolina (29). TCU is the top-ranked team in the preseason poll.

Virginia returns 22 letterwinners this season from the 2010 squad which won a school-record 51 games, captured ACC Coastal Division and NCAA Regional championships, and advanced to the program’s second-consecutive NCAA Super Regional. UVa has a deep pitching core back, with 10 letterwinners returning from the 2010 staff. Five position starters also are back in the mix.

Among the returning letterwinners are Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.), the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year and a 2011 preseason All-American, and infielder Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.), a 2010 Second-Team All-ACC honoree.

Virginia begins its season Feb. 18-20 at the Auburn Tournament in Auburn, Ala. UVa will play UAB, No. 23 Auburn and Arkansas State in the tournament. The Cavaliers’ home opener is Feb. 23 vs. VMI.

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