PROVO — League newcomer BYU was picked to finish seventh in the West Coast Conference Preseason Baseball Poll.
The Cougars, who begin their season next week, balloted 28 votes from the WCC coaches, well behind leaders San Diego with 59, Gonzaga 57 and San Francisco at 51, each of whom received first-place votes.
Loyola Marymount was fifth at 37, followed by Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s at 30, BYU 28, Portland 23 and Santa Clara with nine votes.
“It’s a new league for us and we look forward to the season,” said BYU coach Vance Law. “We haven’t played all of these schools in a while, so it’s understandable where we’ve been picked. I’m not sure they know as much about our team and our tradition. I don’t anticipate finishing seventh.”
None of the Cougars were named to the WCC Preseason All-Conference team, although BYU has three sophomores on its current squad who were named to Freshman All-America team in outfielder Jaycob Brugman and pitchers Desmond Poulson and Marc Oslund.
Brugman was also named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year last season. Oslund was a Freshman All-America selection in 2009 before serving an LDS mission to North Carolina. BYU has 22 lettermen returning.
BYU opens its season next week with a three-game series at UC Riverside. The Cougars open WCC play the following week at Saint Mary’s and host Loyola Marymount on April 5 when league play comes to Provo.
Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at http://byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.