The defending national champion Gamecocks baseball team is No. 14 in the 2011 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40.
The poll, released Monday, has Florida No. 2, Vanderbilt at No. 5, LSU at No. 15, Auburn at No. 25 and Arkansas at No. 32.
The Gamecocks begin the season on Feb. 18 with a three-game series vs. Santa Clara. The team returns six position starters from last year’s team as well as several pitchers.
Among the returning players are preseason All-Americans junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and sophomore right-hander Matt Price.
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Sophomore standouts Christian Walker (first base) and Evan Marzilli (outfielder) are back.
Also returning are senior second baseman Scott Wingo, third baseman Adrian Morales and junior outfielder Adam Matthews.
Returning pitchers include Michael Roth, Tyler Webb, Nolan Belcher, Steven Neff, Adam Westmoreland, Ethan Carter, Colby Holmes, Jose Mata and John Taylor.