Jan. 22, 2010

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Fullerton favored in Big West


After reaching the College World Series in 2009, Cal State Fullerton is the favorite to win the 2010 Big West Baseball Championship, in voting by the league’s nine head coaches and released by the conference office.


The Titans received seven first-place votes and 79 points, UC Irvine, the 2009 conference champ, earned the other two first-place votes and 71 points. Cal Poly placed third with 60 points.


The Titans were 47-16 a season ago, including 17-7 in league play to finish second to the Anteaters. Under head coach Dave Serrano, Fullerton made its 16th appearance at the College World Series. The Titans have four All-American arms returning, with starters Daniel Renken (pictured above), Noe Ramirez and Tyler Pill, along with closer Nick Ramirez. All-American shortstop Christian Colon leads the offense.


UCI was 45-15 in 2009 and was an amazing 22-2 in conference contests. The Anteaters became the first team in Big West history to go undefeated at home in league play and posted the second-best conference winning percentage at .917. UCI also brings back a pair of All-American hurlers in Daniel Bibona and Eric Pettis.


The Mustangs were 37-21 a year ago and came in third in the Big West at 14-10. Cal Poly reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since moving to Division I in 1995. Matt Jensen, the 2009 Big West Freshman of the Year, batted .375 with 15 doubles, nine homers, 53 RBI and had a 23-game hitting streak.


Long Beach State came in fourth in the preseason poll, followed by UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, Cal State Northridge and UC Davis.


2010 Predicted Order of Finish

(2009 Big West/overall records, points, first-place votes)

1 Cal State Fullerton (17-7, 47-16) 79 (7)

2 UC Irvine (22-2, 45-15) 71 (2)

3 Cal Poly (14-10, 37-21) 60

4 Long Beach State (11-13, 25-29) 50

5 UC Riverside (12-12, 33-20) 48

6 UC Santa Barbara (11-13, 29-23) 36

7 Pacific (9-15, 21-32) 30

8 Cal State Northridge (7-17, 24-32) 19

9 UC Davis (5-19, 13-42) 12


(photo by Matt Brown)