Columbus – The Columbus State University baseball team received preseason praise from two different publications this week as the Cougars will open the season ranked in both the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top 40 poll and the College Baseball Lineup Preseason Top 30 poll.
CSU is ranked 15th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll and 23rd in the College Baseball Lineup poll.
Columbus State was the second highest ranked Peach Belt Conference school by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as Francis Marion will start the season ranked second in the nation. UNC Pembroke (19th), Georgia College (23rd), Armstrong Atlantic State University (25th) and North Georgia (35th) will also begin in the season ranked in the top-40.
In the College Baseball Lineup Preseason Poll, Francis Marion will begin the season as the top team in the nation. UNC Pembroke (eighth), CSU and Armstrong (27th) are the only other PBC teams to be ranked in the poll.
Columbus State finished the 2011 season with a 32-19 record and a Peach Belt Conference West Division title. The Cougars capped off the season making their 23rd trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Head Coach Greg Appleton will return four starters this seasoin including All-Peach Belt players Ryan Lewis and Cameron Scott. Tyler Carpenter and Brodie Leibrandt will be counted on to be the main anchors of the pitching staff.
Columbus State will open the 2012 season on February 4 as they host Clark Atlanta for a doubleheader at Ragsdale Field.