On the eve of its season's first official practice, the Vanderbilt baseball team jumped into the national spotlight — again.
The Commodores were ranked fourth in the nation in a preseason poll  by Baseball America, the publication released on Thursday. This comes after Collegiate Baseball ranked Vanderbilt fifth in its preseason poll, which was released last month.
The Commodores were 46-20 and finished in a Super Regional last year, one win shy of a trip to their first College World Series. They return highly touted juniors Sonny Gray (starting pitcher) and Jason Esposito (third baseman), who have both earned multiple preseason All-American accolades.
In addition, ESPN announced earlier this week it will televise at least two more Vanderbilt baseball games this season. The Commodores' road game at defending national champion South Carolina on April 17 will be aired on ESPN2, along with Vanderbilt’s home game against LSU on April 24.
ESPN has the rights to a wild-card selection on May 13 when the Commodores host Florida. ESPNU will feature Vanderbilt’s road game against Georgia on May 19 as its SEC Game of the Week.
The Commodores will hold their annual baseball banquet at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 inside the Student Life Center, which is across from Memorial Gym. Adult tickets are $30 and children’s tickets (13 and under) are $25. For more information, visit vucommodores.com or call 615-322-4653.
Vanderbilt opens its season on Feb. 18 at San Diego. The Commodores will play two games against the Toreros and two games at San Diego State on the trip. Vanderbilt’s first home game is on Feb. 23 against Belmont.