The Big West Conference (BWC) announced the results of the 2013 Preseason BWC Coaches Poll, and Long Beach State was picked to finish third behind rivals Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine in what looks to be a tremendous 2013 season.
The Dirtbags returns seven position starters from a year ago, including third baseman Juan Avila, first baseman Ino Patron and junior Jeff McNeil. That group is joined by six members of a pitching staff that posted a league-best 3.08 team earned-run average a season ago.
Defending champion Cal State Fullerton received nine first-place votes, tallying 99 points, while UC Irvine picked up the remaining first-place vote and was picked second with 82 points, which was just in front of Long Beach State’s 75.
Cal Poly was tabbed to finish in fourth place with 68 points in front of UC Santa Barbara (58 points) and first-year member Hawai'i (57 points). Rounding out the list were UC Riverside, picked to finish seventh, followed by Cal State Northridge, UC Davis and Pacific.
Long Beach State opens up the 2013 season on Feb. 15, traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to face No. 2 Vanderbilt before hosting its home opener against defending national champions No. 24 Arizona on Tuesday, Feb. 19.