Race For The Big West Title Begins Friday
Big West Baseball Release - Week 7
BIG WEST TID BITS
• The race for the 2017 Big West Conference title begins this week with defending champion and preseason favorite, Cal State Fullerton, opening with a three-game series at UC Riverside. UC Irvine entertains Cal Poly with the first two games of the series airing on ESPN3, while Long Beach State visits 2016 College World Series participant UC Santa Barbara. The final conference series of the weekend is UC Davis hosting CSUN. Hawai’i continues non-conference play as it welcomes Nevada to Les Murakami Stadium.
• Over the weekend Long Beach State swept No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, the defending Big West Conference champion, in a three-game, non-conference scoring series. This was Long Beach State’s first sweep over Cal State Fullerton since 2002 and first sweep against a ranked opponent since 2008.
• Thirty NCAA® baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond were selected as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball and UC Irvine’s Adam Alcantara and CSUN’s Conner O’Neil made the elite list. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
• UC Irvine is sporting a nation-leading .986 fielding percentage, while Cal State Fullerton ranks sixth with a .983 clip. The Titans also own the country’s seventh-best earned run average at 2.45. The Titans pitching staff issues just 1.88 walks per nine innings to lead the nation. Hawai’i isn’t far behind as it sits fourth with a 2.21 mark.
• UC Irvine closer Calvin Faucher ranks fourth in the country with a league-leading eight saves. His teammate, Keston Hiura, is hitting .425 to rank 17th in the country while slugging .849 to earn the fifth slot.
• The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the official watch list for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award and three Big West catchers made the elite list - UC Santa Barbara’s Dempsey Grover, Cal State Fullerton’s Chris Hudgins and Cal Poly’s Nick Meyer.
• USA Baseball announced the coaching staff for the 2017 Collegiate National Team and Dave Snow, Troy Buckley (Long Beach State), Rick Vanderhook (Cal State Fullerton) and Larry Lee (Cal Poly) join manager John Savage (UCLA).
• In the fall a pair of Big West Conference baseball teams earned recognition for their incoming recruiting classes. UC Santa Barbara’s earned its highest national ranking in program history at No. 9 in Collegiate Baseball’s ranking. CSF’s recruiting class was ranked No. 21 in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball’s annual evaluation in September.
• Cal State Fullerton is set to host UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara in nationally televised ESPNU games on Saturday, April 29 and Friday, May 12. The Titans are also slated to host a pair of contests on FOX Prime Ticket against UC Santa Barbara (May 13) and Long Beach State (May 27).
A selection of Big West baseball games will also be carried on ESPN3 this season with all games originating from Southern California member institutions Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside. Complete ESPN3 Schedule