Jan. 25, 2011
Irvine, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton is the unanimous favorite to win the Big West Conference as the league announced its 2011 Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll Tuesday afternoon.
The Titans claimed all nine first-place votes in the poll totaling 81 points and were followed by UC Irvine and UC Riverside, which tied for second with 65 points apiece. The poll was rounded out by Cal Poly (50), Long Beach State (47), UC Santa Barbara (36), Pacific (26), UC Davis (22) and Cal State Northirdge.
The Titans won their 24th Div. I conference championship in 2010 and have won at least a share of 8 of the last 12 Big West crowns. Last season, Fullerton won the Big West by a 4-game margin over Irvine by compiling a 21-3 conference mark and earned the league's automatic bid to the postseason.
Fullerton returns a cache of pitching as well as a strong offensive lineup that will likely find it amidst the national rankings again in 2011. USA Collegiate National Team members Noe Ramirez (Jr., RHP, East Los Angeles, Calif.) and Nick Ramirez (Jr., 1B/RHP, Anaheim, Calif.) headline the Titan returners and were both named preseason All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball.
Fullerton also has four players that were listed by Baseball America as one of the nation's Top 100 College Draft Prospects. Noe Ramirez was the highest on the list at No. 28. Two-way player Tyler Pill (Jr., RHP/OF, Covina, Calif.) was next at No. 59 on the list and was followed by Fresno State transfer Jake Floethe (Jr., RHP, Martinez, Calif.) at No. 87 and Cerritos College transfer Joe Terry (Jr., INF, Long Beach, Calif.) at No. 91.
The Titans will open the 2011 season on February 18 at Long Beach State and will defend their Big West championship beginning Apr. 1 at UC Davis.