Feb. 11, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West announced its annual preseason coaches poll on Tuesday and the Bulldog baseball team was picked to finish fourth for the second consecutive season.
The `Dogs received 25 points as voted upon by league coaches and trail preseason favorites New Mexico and 2013 MW champion San Diego State. The Lobos and Aztecs each received 43 points and three first-place points apiece for a deadlock at the top spot.
UNLV picked up 40 points and one first-place vote and are predicted to finish third while Nevada (fifth, 18), Air Force (sixth, 14) and San Jose State (seventh, 12) are all behind Fresno State.
Last year Fresno State finished with a 14-16 MW conference record in its inaugural season in the league and 23-33 overall. The `Dogs won 15 of their final 26 games, which included two wins in the conference tournament before being eliminated by MW tournament champion San Diego State.
Now that the `Dogs have one season under their belt in the conference the future looks bright with a solid pitching staff and key position players returning. Returning to the mound includes Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and MW Co-Freshman of the Year Blake Quinn, 2013 strikeout leader junior Jordan Brink and junior Derick Velazquez. On the diamond, senior Jake Alvarez, junior Chris Mariscal (second-team All-MW in 2013) and sophomore Kevin Viers all return to the infield with junior Jordan Luplow the staple in the outfield.
Newcomer's Jesse Medrano (infield) and Jimmy Lambert (pitcher) have been named preseason MW Freshman of the Year by respective publications, College Sports Madness and Baseball America, and will look to make an impact on this new team right away.
Fresno State kicks off the season Friday, Feb. 14, at UC Irvine. Following the 'Dogs three-game series on the road, they return to Beiden Field to open the season at home on Tuesday, Feb. 18 versus Grand Canyon.
2014 MW Baseball Preseason Poll (1st-place votes)
1t. New Mexico (3) - 43
1t. San Diego State (3) - 43
3. UNLV (1) - 40
4. Fresno State - 25
5. Nevada - 19
6. Air Force - 14
7. San José State - 12
"Catch the Wave" - 2014 Fresno State baseball season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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