Top 25 Competition Highlights This Week's Schedule
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13 BB Release-Week 2
• First week in the record books and a trio of schools maintained a perfect record - Cal State Fullerton (4-0), Cal Poly (3-0) and UC Irvine (3-0). Overall, the Big West Conference produced a 21-12 mark (.636) in the season opening weekend.
• According to Boyd’s World’s, it’s a tough road ahead for the Big West Conference as eight teams were listed in the top 30 of its preseason strength of schedule ratings, the second highest conference total. Newcomer Hawai’i leads the group in 12th and is followed by Cal State Fullerton in 14th place and Long Beach State in the 16th spot. Cal State Northridge ranks 17th, UC Irvine holds the 20th spot and Pacific is one spot behind in 21st while UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside sit 25th and 27th, respectively.
• Proving why it paces the Big West with toughest strength of schedule, Hawai’i opens the 2013 season playing its first eight contests against Top 10 opponents. The Rainbow Warriors just completed a four-game series versus No. 6 Oregon and is set to host No. 10 Rice for another four-game stint this weekend.
• UC Irvine, who entered the 2013 season receiving votes in various national polls, swept 23rd-ranked Baylor in its opening weekend series. The Anteaters outscored the Bears 26-7, including a 5-0 shutout performance on Saturday. This week, UC Irvine continues its six-game homestand this weekend when it welcomes California to Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark for a four-game series.
• Long Beach State, coming off a 1-2 mark at No. 2 Vanderbilt last week, opens the home portion of its schedule this week hosting defending national champion and 10th-ranked Arizona in a two-game midweek series.
• Thomas Eshelman was the first Titan freshman to start a season opener for Cal State Fullerton in 26 years. In the 3-2 win over USC, Eshelman (1-0) allowed two unearned runs on four hits while striking out six in six innings of work. The Titans will be tested this week as they travel to The Lone Star State to battle 22nd-ranked TCU.
• Last week ESPN announced the selection of two Big West baseball contests selected to be televised by ESPNU. First up is the Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton matchup on May 4, followed by the UC Irvine at Cal State Fullerton showdown on May 17. Both games are slated with an 8:00 p.m. start.
• Big West.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West’s 10 member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women’s volleyball as well as men’s and women’s basketball. Also covered are select contests in men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Championships. Head to thisweek for weekly event schedules.