Big West Showcases Top 25 Trio
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13 BB Release-Week 4
Big West At A Glance
• A trio of Big West teams are on the rise. In the latest national polls, Cal State Fullerton (10-1), UC Irvine (9-1) and Cal Poly (10-2) are all recognized in the top 25, marking the first time the league has had three representatives in the top 25 for 2013. The Titans, who are ranked as high as 8th, were the only ones earning a top-25 preseason ranking (22nd). UC Irvine continues to hold steady in 21st, while Cal Poly is ranked 21st/25th, depending on the poll.
Up next for the trio - Cal Poly and UC Irvine hit the road with the Mustangs at Kansas State and the Anteaters at BYU, while the Titans host Texas A&M.
• Long Beach State is gearing up for a tough week as the 49ers host seventh-ranked UCLA before visiting No. 20 Arizona State. Top 25 competition isn’t anything new for the 49ers, who opened 2013 facing both No. 2 Vanderbilt and then-ranked No. 10 Arizona. Long Beach State posted a 2-3 mark over the stretch.
Also battling a nationally-ranked opponent is Cal State Northridge, who travels to No. 11 Oregon for a two-game midweek series (March 4-5). The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara are one week too late for a top-ranked battle as they travel to the Lone Star State this weekend to face Texas, who fell out of the rankings this week following a 0-3 performance against No. 14 Stanford.
• Last week UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara registered their first series sweeps of the season. The Highlanders knocked-off West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary’s after outscoring the Gaels, 35-12. In the midst of a nine-game homestand, the Gauchos downed San Jose State in their three-game weekend series.
• The Pacific Tigers closed out the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz., knocking off No. 2 Arkansas thanks to Erik Lockwood’s walk-off single, which capped a three-run bottom of the ninth that lifted Pacific to a 4-3 victory.
• Cal State Fullerton opened the season with 10 straight victories before falling to No. 14 Oregon on March 3, becoming the only Titan team to accomplish the feat in the program’s Division I history, which dates back to 1975.
• Cal Poly’s Reed Reilly paces the Big West Conference with a 0.00 ERA. In 10.1 innings pitched, he has struck out 17 while tallying a league-high five saves.
• Cal State Fullerton senior first baseman Carlos Lopez was one of 30 NCAA® baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball. A three-time Big West All-Academic selection (2010, 2011, 2012), Lopez is currently competing in his fourth season in a Titan uniform. He was named the Cal State Fullerton Male Scholar Athlete of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012, and was also named to the Capitol One Academic All-District team in 2011. Lopez has been named to the Dean’s List twice, and he currently boasts a 3.41 GPA. He has completed requirements for a Communications Entertainment degree, and is currently pursuing a minor in American Studies.
• 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.