Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who will win the Big West baseball title?

Cal State Fullerton is coming off three straight Big West Conference titles, but the Titans are no longer the clear-cut favorites to win the conference crown.
Heading into conference play this weekend, UC Irvine enjoyed the best nonconference run out of the eight Big West teams, going 19-6-1. UC Riverside went 16-10 and Cal State Fullerton 15-10.
Long Beach State, which finished second to Cal State Fullerton last season, went 13-9.
So who’s the favorite? Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee had a pretty good take when asked that question on Thursday.
“It’s Fullerton’s title until you knock them off,” he said.

“But I think there are four teams you’ll have to go through — Irvine, Riverside, Fullerton and Long Beach State. With those four teams, it’s much more wide open than it’s been. Riverside and Irvine make things more interesting this year with all of the (losses) Fullerton and Long Beach have sustained.”
Cal State Fullerton was the preseason favorite in the Big West Coaches poll, which is listed below. But UC Irvine, the only other team to earn a first-place vote from the coaches, emerges as the team to beat at this point in time. The Anteaters lead the Big West in hitting at .327 — 21 points better than the next closest team (UC Riverside, .306). They also have the second-best team ERA at 3.50 and the top fielding percentage at .978.
The rest of the Big West, which includes a young Cal Poly team, might be playing for fifth place in what is shaping up to be a four-team race this year.

2007 Big West Conference

preseason coaches poll
1. Cal State Fullerton (7) 63 points
2. UC Riverside 50
3. UC Irvine (1) 48
4. Long Beach State 43
5. Cal Poly 31
6. UC Santa Barbara 23
7. Pacific 22
8. Cal State Northridge 8

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poly may be able to pull off a 3rd place....especially if their bullpen performs and the coach pulls the pitcher at the right time!