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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina baseball team received its first 2008 preseason ranking, standing 24th in the Baseball America poll released Tuesday afternoon.
It is the first preseason ranking since the 2005 season when the Pirates were ranked 30th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll and No. 32 by Collegiate Baseball.
East Carolina, who finished 40-23 a year ago with a return trip to the NCAA Regionals, returns 15 lettermen including Brooks Wallace National Player-of-the-Year Pre-Season Watch List recipients Stephen Batts and T.J. Hose, along with SEBaseball.com pre-season first-team All-Conference USA selection Harrison Eldridge.
A year ago the Pirates were ranked in the national polls for nine weeks with its initial ranking coming on March 12 when they were ranked No. 25 by Baseball America and No. 27 by Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA. ECU's highest ranking of the season came on March 26 when they stood at No. 19 by Baseball America.
The Pirates will begin practice on Friday, Feb. 1 in preparation for its 2008 season opener against No. 2 South Carolina at Sarge Frye Field.