Jan 31, 2013 5:33 PM by Andrew Masuda
With seven of its 10 starting position players returning, the Cal Poly baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the Big West Conference Preseason Coaches Poll on Thursday.
The Mustangs received a total of 68 points in the poll. They finished the 2012 season by winning their last seven games and 14 of 17. They led the Big West in nearly every offensive category and finished in second place at 16-8.
Staff ace Joey Wagman returns after earning nine wins a year ago. Chase Johnson, Reed Reilly and Matt Imhof are also counted on to provide quality innings for Larry Lee's squad.
Cal State Fullerton received nine of the ten first place votes for 99 points and was the preseason pick to repeat as Conference champions. The Titans went 17-7 last year in league for their 10th title in the last 14 years and 34th postseason appearance. They return All-American Michael Lorenzen and Big West Freshman of the Year Matt Chapman.
UC Irvine finished second in the poll with one first place vote and 82 total points. Long Beach State was tabbed third with 75 points.
UC Santa Barbara came in fifth in the poll with 58 points. Andrew Checketts returns for his second season with the Gauchos. He was picked by Baseball America as one of the top ten head coaches in the nation under 40 years old.
The Mustangs open the season with a four game road trip on February 15 when they start a 3-game series at USF. Following a Monday game at Santa Clara, the Mustangs return to Baggett Stadium for their home opener on the 22nd against Seattle.
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