Nationally Ranked Big West Baseball Squads to Appear on ESPNU
Cal State Fullerton, ranked as high as No. 8 by preseason poll prognosticators, will host rival Big West programs UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara in nationally televised ESPNU games this spring. Each of these programs has appeared in one of the last three College World Series.
Coming off its 25th consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason, the Titans, a 2015 CWS participant, will welcome the ESPNU cameras to Goodwin Field on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. (PT) against UCI and Friday, May 12 at 6:00 p.m. (PT) versus UCSB.
The No. 8 ranking by Baseball America is the highest placing in any of the preseason polls for the Titans, which also landed in the rankings for Collegiate Baseball (10th) and D1Baseball (16th). Fullerton returns four all-conference honorees, including a Collegiate Baseball Second Team Preseason All-American in pitcher Colton Eastman.
UC Irvine, winner of at least 30 games in 13 straight seasons and a CWS entry as recent as 2014, is led by Preseason All-American junior outfielder Keston Hiura.
UC Santa Barbara appears in several preseason polls, including Collegiate Baseball (No. 18), Baseball America (No. 19) and D1Baseball (No. 25). In 2016, the Gauchos advanced to the first College World Series in school history after knocking off the No. 2 and No. 3 national seeds during their historic postseason run. They reached Omaha in dramatic fashion, with then-freshman catcher Sam Cohen blasting a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth against Louisville All-American closer Zack Burdi. In addition to Cohen, the Gauchos return a pair of Collegiate Baseball Preseason Third-Team All-Americans in shortstop Clay Fisher and closer Kyle Nelson.
“The Big West is routinely one of the premier baseball conferences in the country,” said Commissioner Dennis Farrell. “These selected games for ESPNU will provide a snapshot into the depth of quality conference programs and individual talents who will, in all likelihood, get the chance to showcase their abilities at the MLB level too.”
Both games will also be available through ESPN3. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through WatchESPN. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost to those who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
2017 BIG WEST BASEBALL SCHEDULE ON ESPNU
|Saturday, April 29
||UC Irvine at Cal State Fullerton
|Friday, May 12
||UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton