(Photo of Dan McDonnell: Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The sixth and final major college baseball preseason poll has been released, and once again, the Louisville baseball program has landed inside the top ten.
USA TODAY unveiled their 2021 Preseason College Baseball Coaches Poll on Thursday, and the Cardinals were tabbed as the No. 6 team in the country.
It is their fifth top ten ranking this preseason, with all five coming inside the top seven. Louisville also earned the No. 2 spot from Perfect Game, the No. 5 ranking from D1Baseball, and the No. 7 placement by Baseball America and the NCBWA. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper placed Louisville just outside the top ten at No. 11.
Louisville is the highest out of the seven ACC teams to crack the poll, and is one of four teams to receive a first place vote. Top-ranked Florida, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech and Ole Miss round out the five teams ahead of Louisville.
Six Cardinals have also been named 2021 Preseason All-Americans, with three being unanimous among the four major publications released up to this point (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball and Perfect Game).
Third baseman Alex Binelas, catcher Henry Davis and outfielder Levi Usher are the unanimous selections; while left-handed reliever Michael Kirian was honored by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper & Perfect Game, utility man Jared Poland was named by Perfect Game and right-handed pitcher Jack Perkins was selected by Baseball America as a relief pitcher.
The Cardinal Nine finished the 2020 season with a 13-4 record, and were ranked as high as the No. 2 team in the country (D1Baseball, Perfect Game) at the time of the season's cancellation due to COVID-19. They had previously been tabbed as the preseason No. 1 team in the nation and were also voted by league coaches as the favorite to win the ACC.
McDonnell enters his 15th season with the program, compiling a 618-244 record during his tenure as the Louisville skipper - the most wins of any team in the country since his hiring in 2007.
Louisville is set to begin the 2021 season with a three-game weekend series against Bellarmine at Jim Patterson Stadium on Friday, Feb. 19.
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