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LSU head coach Paul Mainieri, right, watches from the dugout in game two of the Purple and Gold World Series, Thursday, November 9, 2017, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

After finishing as the national runners-up last season, LSU will begin 2018 as a top-10 team in at least one of the many college baseball rankings.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper ranked LSU No. 10 in its preseason college baseball rankings, the first such rankings to be released before the start of the 2018 season.

"It’s always fun to look at these polls now because it makes you realize the college baseball season is right around the corner, as opening day is only 58 days away,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a news release.

Mainieri went on to say it was exciting to see his team in the top 10, but that LSU is not satisfied with the spot either.

“It just means we only have nine spots to go to get to where we want to be, which is No. 1,” Mainieri said.

LSU was hit hard by the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, losing two thirds of its weekend pitching rotation to go along with dynamic players at shortstop, second base, right field and catcher.

The draft also cost the Tigers several of their top signees, with Nate Pearson, Jacob Pearson, Blayne Enlow and Andrew Bechtold all choosing to sign professionally.

LSU will also be without standout pitcher Eric Walker, who will miss the season to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Despite all the losses, LSU returns several established players, including sophomores Zach Watson and Zack Hess, who were named preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball Monday.

The Southeastern Conference was well-represented in the Collegiate Baseball rankings, with seven teams in the top-25.

Florida, the defending national champion, took the top spot. Arkansas (3), Vanderbilt (6) and Kentucky (8) joined Florida and LSU in the top 10.

Louisiana-Lafayette (18) was the other Louisiana school represented in the top 40.


Follow Luke Johnson on Twitter, @ByLukeJohnson.