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#StartBig - Baseball Opens 2017 Season This Weekend

2/14/2017

2017 Big West Baseball Release - Week 1


• The team to beat in the Big West Conference in 2017 is Cal State Fullerton, according to the nine conference coaches that voted on the 2017 Big West baseball preseason poll.   The Titans earned eight first-place votes en route to a total of 75 points while Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara are knotted in second place with 65 points apiece. The Mustangs of Cal Poly secured 55 points to lock down the fourth slot. UC Irvine, who collected the final first place vote finished fifth with 48 points.  CSUN clinched the sixth spot with 33 points while UC Riverside ranked seventh with 27 points.  Hawai’i sits eighth with 23 points and is followed by UC Davis (13).

• Three Big West schools are opening the 2017 season ranked in the Top 25 of the major national polls.  Cal State Fullerton is eighth and is followed by Long Beach State in 17th and UC Santa Barbara in 18th.

• In the fall a pair of Big West Conference baseball teams earned recognition for their incoming recruiting classes.  UC Santa Barbara received its highest national ranking in program history at No. 9 in Collegiate Baseball’s ranking. The class also checked in at No. 19 and No. 21 in the rankings for Baseball America and D1Baseball, respectively. The Gauchos were the top-ranked team in the Big West in all three publications and were the top California program in Collegiate Baseball.

Cal State Fullerton’s recruiting class was ranked No. 21 in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball's annual evaluation in September.

• The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) announced it Preseason Stopper of the Year Award list, and four Big West athletes landed a spot - CSUN’s Samuel Myers and Connor O’Neil, UC Santa Barbara’s Kyle Nelson and Long Beach State’s Chris Rivera. This annual award is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

For a complete list of the 2017 preseason accolades and rankings, click here.

• 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).

• Cal State Fullerton is set to host rival Big West programs UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara in nationally televised ESPNU games this spring.  The Titans 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 Titans are also slated to host a pair of contests of FOX Prime Ticket with the first showdown taking place May 13 at Goodwin Field. Cal State Fullerton will host 2016 College World Series participant UC Santa Barbara.  On Saturday, May 27, CSF will play longtime rival Long Beach State at Goodwin Field.  First pitches for both games will be 7:00 p.m.

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. Every Big West team will make an appearance on the televised baseball schedule.

Every game on ESPN’s platforms is available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, on Apple TV and Roku to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
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