Baseball ranked ninth in College Baseball Daily preseason mid-major poll
Dolphins open season on Feb. 17 at Southern California
Dolphins open season on Feb. 17 at Southern California
The JU baseball team made its third appearance in a preseason poll by being ranked ninth in the College Baseball Daily mid-major poll.

The Dolphins are one of three teams ranked from the Atlantic Sun conference in a poll that covers all programs outside of the ACC, Big 12, Big West, CUSA, Pac 10 and SEC. JU has already been ranked 38th in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll and earned a vote in the USA Today/ESPN poll.

High expectations chase JU this season who return 20 players from the 2011 season that finished with a 37-24 to reach the NCAA Regionals for the fourth time in the last six seasons.

“We appreciate this honor,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “Being ranked as high as we are says a lot of what people think of us. We can’t wait to get the season going next week.”

Junior first baseman Adam Brett Walker II was named to preseason first team All-America, his fourth honor of the spring, and ranked 44th in the top 100 players poll. He has been named preseason All-America by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball (Dec. 20), the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (Dec. 14) and Perfect Game USA (Jan. 27).

As a sophomore, Walker II led the A-Sun with a .409 batting average, 99 hits and 23 doubles in helping the Dolphins reach the NCAA regionals for the fourth time in the last six seasons. He also paced the squad with 13 home runs, 75 RBI, 165 total bases and a .685 slugging percentage. His hits and total bases totals each broke single-season records for the program.

Walker II batted .446 with 16 doubles, six home runs and 42 RBI in conference play to take home the A-Sun Player of the Year and first team all-conference honors. Walker II also received A-Sun all-tournament honors after pacing the Dolphins with a .429 average (6-14) with a home run and two RBI.

For his efforts, Walker II was named first team All-America from Perfect Game USA and second team All-America from, Baseball America, Louisville Slugger (Collegiate Baseball), the NCBWA and the America Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). Walker II also was a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy (NCBWA) and Golden Spikes Award (USA Baseball). He was earned ABCA All-south region honors with Dan Gulbransen and named District III Player of the Year by NCBWA to round out the list.

The Dolphins open the season with a three-game series at Southern California on Feb. 17. They will play at Florida State on Feb. 21 before hosting Northeastern for the inaugural Roger Strickland Classic on Feb. 24 at 4 pm.