Jan. 25, 2011


Cal State Fullerton is unanimous pick in Big West


Cal State Fullerton is the overwhelming favorite in the 2011 Big West preseason coaches’ poll, as released by the conference office.


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)