Dirtbags Picked Second in Big West Preseason Poll
The defending Big West champion Dirtbags were picked to finish second in the Big West by the conference's coaches, receiving a pair of first-place votes.
IRVINE, Calif. - Long Beach State is expected to finish second in the Big West this season, according to the preseason coaches poll released on Wednesday. The Dirtbags were Big West champions in 2017 and hosted a Super Regional at Blair Field, and are among the favorites to challenge for the conference crown once again.
LBSU received a total of 65 points in this year's poll, trailing only Cal State Fullerton with 73 points. The Dirtbags also received a pair of first-place votes, trailing the Titans' six. The Beach stand just one point ahead of Cal Poly in third and are 16 points clear of UC Santa Barbara in fourth.
The Dirtbags were also picked to finish second in last season's poll, but dominated the conference with a 20-4 record to earn a ninth Big West Conference championship.
In 2018, Long Beach State returns its middle infield with senior Laine Huffman at shortstop and junior Jarren Duran at second base. Both players were All-Big West selections a year ago, as was returning closer Chris Rivera, who is entering his junior season with 26 career saves already.
Long Beach State will begin the 2018 season on Feb. 16, hosting Saint Mary's for the first of a three-game set on Opening Weekend. Season tickets are currently available for the entire 2018 season, and single-game tickets will go on sale beginning Monday, Feb. 5.
2018 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton - 73 (6)
2. Long Beach State - 65 (2)
3. Cal Poly - 64
4. UC Santa Barbara - 49
5. CSUN - 48
6. UC Irvine- 43 (1)
7. Hawai'i - 27
8. UC Riverside - 26
9 UC Davis - 10
( ) First-place vote
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