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September 25, 2012For the second straight year, a major college baseball publication has tabbed Vanderbilt's incoming freshman class as the best in the nation. Collegiate Baseball ranked the Commodores 11-man class at No. 1 in its rankings on Wednesday.
The 2012-13 class includes seven players that were drafted in the 2012 June Major League Baseball entry draft, including star pitchers Walker Buehler and Carson Fulmer. Talented position players Rhett Wiseman and Xavier Turner also highlight the list of Commodore newcomers.
Notably, Corbin achieved this unprecedented feat despite the fact that he did not enroll three of his top recruits. Two signees ended up going straight to professional baseball, and a third -- Tennessee pitcher Stephen Gant -- tragically committed suicide this past spring.
The No. 1 ranking marks the first for the Vanderbilt program in Collegiate Baseball's 30-year recruiting poll. Last fall, head coach Tim Corbin brought in a class that included first round draft pick Tyler Beede and other All-American level recruits like Chris Harvey and Philip Pfeifer achieved a top ranking by Baseball America and finished second in Collegiate Baseball's poll.
Wednesday's ranking marked the ninth time in 10 years that a SEC program has claimed the top spot in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
Vanderbilt returns 25 members of last season's surprising NCAA Regional squad and SEC Tournament runner-up. The mix of veterans and incoming talent have made the Commodores a popular pick to contend for another trip to the College World Series this spring.
Vanderbilt began fall practice on Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming season. The practice period will include the program's annual Black and Gold Series in late October.
Vanderbilt's 2012-2013 Freshman Class:
Walker Buehler (RHP) - Henry Clay HS, Lexington, Ky.
Tyler Campbell (IF)- Lake Oswego HS, Portland, Ore.
Pat Delano (RHP)- Braintree HS, Braintree, Mass.
Tyler Ferguson (RHP)- Clovis West HS, Fresno, Calif.
Carson Fulmer (RHP)- All Saints Academy, Lakeland, Fla.
Chris Raasch (RHP)- Norcross HS, Norcross, Ga.
Kyle Smith (IF)- Mt.Juliet HS, Old Hickory, Tenn.
Luke Stephenson (RHP)- Triton Central HS, Fairland, Ind.
Dansby Swanson (IF)- Marietta HS, Marietta, Ga.
Xavier Turner (IF)- Sandusky HS, Sandusky, Ohio
Rhett Wiseman (OF)- Buckingham B&N, Mansfield, Mass.
In Memory: Stephen Gant