Shauna Howell, BYU Creative Design
BYU was picked No. 1 in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll by the league coaches, while junior outfielder Keaton Kringlen was one of three Cougars selected to the preseason All-WCC team.

Two-time defending champion BYU was voted No. 1 in the West Coast Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll.

The Cougars, who finished with a 38-21 overall record and 20-7 record in WCC action last season, received five first-place votes and 74 overall points, followed by San Diego with four first-place votes and 71 overall points, then Saint Mary's with one first-place vote and 66 overall points. The remainder of the WCC Preseason Poll is Gonzaga (57 points), Loyola Marymount (53), San Francisco (36), Pepperdine (35), Santa Clara (27), Pacific (19) and Portland (12).

"Although I don’t put a whole a lot of stock into preseason polls, it is nice to be recognized by our fellow coaches," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "When we were picked to finish low the last few years I didn’t lose sleep, and I won’t get too excited knowing we have been picked to finish first this year. We play in a league where every weekend is a battle, and we are excited to get going."

Additionally, three Cougars were picked by the WCC Coaches to the Preseason Baseball Team: second baseman Brennon Anderson, shortstop Daniel Schneemann and outfielder Keaton Kringlen.

This is the first time BYU has been picked No. 1 by the WCC coaches. San Diego and Saint Mary's were picked first in the three other preseason polls by Perfect Game, Baseball America and D1baseball.com. BYU was picked to finish third in the WCC by Perfect Game and D1baseball.com.

Overall, BYU and San Diego lead the All-WCC Preseason team with three players each. Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara and Pacific have two representatives each followed by Loyola Marymount, San Francisco and Portland with one. The Lions’ lone representative is 2017 WCC batting champion Jamey Smart.

The 2018 season begins on Friday, Feb. 16, with all 10 West Coast Conference teams in action. For a complete interactive schedule, visit WCCsports, and follow @WCCsports on Twitter for updates throughout the season.

The 2018 West Coast Conference Baseball Championship will be held at Banner Island Ballpark for the sixth-straight year, from May 24-26, in Stockton, California.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at [email protected].