Big West Announces Spring Television Schedule On ESPNU
2018 ESPNU Spring Schedule
The Big West Conference today announced that ESPNU will nationally televise two baseball games and one softball contest this spring.
The top three teams in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches poll will be featured. Cal Poly, hosting an ESPNU regular season game for the first time since May 9, 2010, welcomes Long Beach State to Baggett Stadium on Friday, April 20. First pitch will be at 7:00 p.m.
The Dirtbags will also host rival Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, May 24 at 5:00 p.m. It’s a rematch of the 2017 best-of-three NCAA Super Regional at Blair Field, which the Titans won to advance to their 18th College World Series.
Cal State Fullerton’s trip to Omaha marked the fourth consecutive year the Big West has had a College World Series participant. The Big West, ACC, Big 12 and SEC are the only four conferences that can claim that distinction.
Cal State Fullerton, which received 73 points and seven first-place votes in the coaches poll, is led by pitchers Colton Eastman and Brett Conine. Eastman, a junior right-handed hurler, recently earned a spot on USA Baseball’s 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list. The Golden Spikes Award is bestowed upon the top amateur player in the country. Conine is one of just 52 players named to the initial watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the nation’s top relief pitcher. The righty had 15 saves in 2017.
Long Beach State features a dominant closer of its own in junior Chris Rivera, who was named a NCBWA Preseason All-American third teamer. He has recorded 13 saves in each of his first two years as a Dirtbag. Rivera helped LBSU win the 2017 Big West title with a 20-4 record and capture the NCAA Long Beach Regional crown. LBSU was slated to finish second in the preseason poll with 65 points and two first-place votes.
Cal Poly finished 16-8 and in second place in a competitive Big West in 2017, and return seven regulars in the starting lineup. Junior center fielder Alex McKenna is one of the ringleaders of the group, as he was recognized by Baseball America on its preseason All-America third team. McKenna hit .360 with 85 hits, 13 steals and 45 runs scored last season. The Mustangs were tabbed third with 64 points in the coaches poll.
ESPN will also air the Friday, May 11 softball contest between UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton at Anderson Family Field. First pitch will be 7:30 p.m. The Titans have won back-to-back Big West titles and finished 35-23 overall with a 16-5 Big West mark in 2017. The program made its 27th NCAA Regional appearance to cap off the solid campaign. CSF was picked to finish first in the preseason coaches poll, receiving four first-place votes and 57 points. UC Riverside finished in a tie for fifth in the poll.
All three 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 streaming 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.