Jan. 19, 2010
Irvine, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton baseball team was picked to win the Big West Conference championship in 2010 according to the annual preseason coaches poll conducted by the league's nine head coaches.
Fullerton, which has captured at least a share of seven of the last 11 titles, picked up seven first-place votes and returned 79 total points. UC Irvine came in second with 71 points and two first-place nods, while Cal Poly came in third with 60 points.
The Titans, skippered by third-year Head Coach Dave Serrano, are coming off a 47-16 overall record last year that saw them finish their season in Omaha for the 16th time in school history. Serrano's 2010 team is loaded with returning talent and has six of his players (Christian Colon - SS, Daniel Renken - RHP, Gary Brown - CF, Nick Ramirez - 1B/LHP, Noe Ramirez - RHP and Tyler Pill - RHP) recognized as preseason All-Americans. The team's 2010 recruiting class was also ranked No. 5 in the nation by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
Mike Gillespie's UC Irvine Anteaters are coming off on of the best seasons in school's history. They posted a 22-2 Big West Conference mark in 2009 en route to the league title as well as becoming the first Big West team to ever go undefeated at home in conference play. UCI welcomes back preseason All-Americans Christian Bergman (RHP), Crosby Slaught (RHP) and 2009 Big West Conference pitcher of the Year Daniel Bibona (LHP).
Long Beach State (50 pts.) finished fourth, and was followed by UC Riverside (48 pts.), UC Santa Barbara (36 pts.), Pacific (30 pts.), Cal State Northridge (19 pts.) and UC Davis (12 pts.) to round out the voting.
The Div. I baseball season will begin nationwide on Feb. 19 with the Big West Conference portion of te schedule slated to begin Apr. 1.
2010 Big West Preseason Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton (7) - 79 pts.
2. UC Irvine (2) - 71 pts.
3. Cal Poly - 60 pts
4. Long Beach State - 50 pts.
5. UC Riverside - 48 pts.
6. UC Santa Barbara - 36 pts.
7. Pacific - 30 pts.
8. Cal State Northridge - 19 pts.
9. UC Davis - 12 pts.