Cal State Fullerton is unanimous pick in Big West
State Fullerton is the overwhelming favorite in the 2011 Big
West preseason coaches’ poll, as released by the conference
The Titans received all nine first-place votes
for 81 points. UC Irvine and UC Riverside tied for second with
65 points, followed by Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Santa
Barbara, Pacific, UC Davis and Cal State Northridge.
Fullerton returned to the top of the standings a
season ago, posting a conference record of 21-3 and an overall
mark of 46-18. The Titans, under head coach Dave Serrano
(right), made their 32nd trip to the NCAA Tournament and reached
the Super Regionals. Fullerton returns 17 letter-winners,
including four position starters and three starting pitchers.
Junior pitcher Noe Ramirez and junior pitcher/first baseman Nick
Ramirez have both been named preseason All-Americans.
After claiming the conference crown in 2009, UC
Irvine finished second a season ago at 17-7. The Anteaters
earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney, their fifth straight
trip. UC Irvine has 17 letter-winners back, with five position
starters and seven pitchers.
UC Riverside was 13-11 in the Big West this past
season and 32-23 overall. The Highlanders have a lot of arms
returning, including Dustin Emmons, Matt Larkin, Matt Andriese
and freshman All-American Mitch Patito.
The 2011 season begins on Friday, Feb. 18, with
all nine Big South teams in action. Conference play begins the
weekend of April 1-3. The regular-season champion earns the
league’s bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Big West Preseason Poll
Team, Points (First Place Votes) (2010 Big
West, Overall Records)
1. Cal State Fullerton, 81 (9) (21-3, 46-18)
2. UC Irvine, 65 (17-7, 39-21)
2. UC Riverside, 65 (13-11, 32-23)
4. Cal Poly, 50 (10-14, 23-32)
5. Long Beach State, 47 (7-17, 23-32)
6. UC Santa Barbara, 36 (10-14, 24-30)
7. Pacific, 26 (12-12, 31-23)
8. UC Davis, 22 (9-15, 26-29)
9. Cal State Northridge, 13 (9-15, 29-27)
(photo by Matt Brown)