For the first time since 1983, the Missouri Baseball team is ranked in Baseball America’s preseason Top 25.
The Tigers are ranked 10th in the poll, released Thursday. It is the highest ranking that the Tigers have received and the first one since the team was ranked 19th prior to the 1983 season.
“It’s an honor to get that kind of respect. I think it is a reflection of what we are capable of,” said Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson. “However, we all realize that it is just a preseason poll and that the poll at the end of the year matters a whole lot more than the one at the start of the year.”
The Tigers are one of only two Big 12 Conference teams ranked. Texas is ranked No. 1. The two schools are the only ones in the Big 12 to reach the NCAA field of 64 in each of the past three seasons.
Last season, Missouri finished with a 40-23 record.
Missouri junior pitcher Max Scherzer was also named first team preseason All-American by Baseball America.
Outfielder Hunter Mense, also a junior, was a third-team pick.
Scherzer, the 2005 Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year, was a second team All-American last year. He has also been named a first team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball.
Mense, who along with Scherzer played for Team USA last summer, was an All-Big 12 selection last year and was named to the NCBWA Preseason All-America third team this year.
In 2005, Scherzer was 9-4 with a 1.86 ERA in 16 games for the Tigers. Mense batted .327 with 43 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
Missouri opens the 2006 season against East Tennessee State at the Charleston Southern Tournament in Charleston, S.C. on Feb. 9. Missouri will start up the home portion of the 2006 schedule on March 1 against Illinois State at 4 p.m. at Taylor Stadium.