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LSU designated hitter Cade Beloso (24) greets LSU assistant coach Nolan Cain at third base after hitting a solo home run in the second inning in game four of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional between LSU and Southern Miss, Saturday, June 1, 2019, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Once again, LSU baseball has one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

Baseball America ranked the Tigers' incoming class No. 2 in the nation Wednesday, giving LSU its third top-5 finish in the past four years.

LSU finished behind Miami in Baseball America's rankings, which considered all incoming players from high school and junior college. Baseball America created its list based on conversations with coaches and scouts.

LSU was the highest-ranked Southeastern Conference team this year. Nine other SEC teams landed in the top 25 and four in the top 10. Vanderbilt was the closest to LSU, finishing No. 3.

Able to field a larger team this season because of roster modifications related to the coronavirus, LSU signed 17 players — 10 pitchers, six position players and one two-way player.

The Tigers held onto some of their top recruits through the shortened MLB draft, including outfielder Dylan Crews, a projected first-round pick who withdrew his name from draft consideration.

The incoming players, combined with an already talented pitching staff, have made coach Paul Mainieri believe LSU can field one of the best pitching staffs in school history.

LSU held opponents to a .186 batting average last season, the lowest figure through 17 games since 1997. The season ended at that point because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. LSU lost one pitcher from that staff, Friday night starter Cole Henry.

“We're trying to develop a championship ball club, and I think we have the makings of a really great team,” Mainieri said in a statement.

Baseball America gave LSU its highest ranking from the magazine since it rated LSU's class No. 1 in 2018. Baseball America ranked LSU's recruiting class No. 6 last year.

After leaving school in March, LSU's players returned to campus in stages in early August. They have entered a monthlong training period before fall practice begins Sept. 20.

SEC baseball teams can't scrimmage other schools this year because of the coronavirus, the SEC announced last week. LSU plans to increase the length of its intrasquad scrimmages to make up for games it lost earlier this year.

Fall practice will end with annual the Purple-Gold World Series from Oct. 27-29.

See Baseball America's 2020 recruiting rankings:

1. Miami

2. LSU

3. Vanderbilt

4. Arizona

5. Florida

6. South Carolina

7. Stanford

8. Texas

9. Arkansas

10. Georgia Tech

11. Florida State

12. Georgia

13. Texas Christian

14. Auburn

15. Texas Tech

16. Oklahoma

17. Mississippi State

18. North Carolina

19. Tennessee

20. Oklahoma State

21. Mississippi

22. Louisville

23. Arizona State

24. Southern California

25. Florida International

Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com