TCU slated to win Mountain West

FROM CONFERENCE RELEASE
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The TCU Horned Frogs have been selected to win their third straight regular season Mountain West Conference baseball championship in 2008. In a vote of the seven MWC head coaches and a select media panel, the Horned Frogs received six of a possible nine first-place votes and 60 points, while BYU (three first-place votes) received 52 points to finish second in the poll.

San Diego State tallied 42 points for a third-place standing in the poll, while New Mexico (40 points) was fourth, UNLV (26 points) fifth, Utah (23 points) sixth and Air Force (nine points) seventh. BYU placed four players on the preseason all-MWC team, followed by San Diego State and TCU with three apiece, New Mexico with two, and UNLV and Utah with one player each.

TCU returns five starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad, including 2007 all-MWC selections Clint Arnold (Sr., OF), Bryan Kervin (Sr., SS) and Matt Vern (Jr., 1B). The Horned Frogs were 48-14 overall last season (20-3 MWC) and captured their second consecutive MWC postseason tournament title.

BYU returns six starters led by 2007 Freshman All-American and MWC Co-Freshman of the Year Steve Parker (So., 3B). The Cougars were 37-20 last season (17-7 MWC), finishing second in the regular-season standings. San Diego State will be led by freshman All-American and MWC Co-Freshman of the Year Stephen Strasburg (So., RHP), and 2007 all-league picks Nick Romero (Jr., 3B), Troy Hanzawa (Sr., SS) and Brandon Glover (Sr., OF).

New Mexico returns seven starters from last year’s squad that finished 12-12 in conference play (28-30 overall), including 2007 allconference member and preseason all-conference selection Bobby LaFromboise (Sr., LHP) and preseason all-conference honoree Matt Hibbitts (Sr., 2B). UNLV returns four starters (13 letterwinners overall), including preseason all-conference member Michael Brenly (Jr., C). Utah has seven letterwinners back, including 2007 all-MWC pick Corey Shimada (So., OF), from last year’s squad that finished tied for third in the MWC (12-12, 24-31 overall). Air Force has seven starters back, including 2007 Ping! Baseball All-Freshman Team member K.J. Randhawa (So., INF).

The regular season opens Friday, February 22, with all seven MWC teams in action. The conference season begins Thursday, March 13 with San Diego State hosting BYU. The Phillips 66 Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship is scheduled for May 20-24 at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

2008 MWC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
(selected by MWC head coaches and select media)
Rk. Team (1st place votes) Points
1. TCU (6) 60
2. BYU (3) 52
3. San Diego State 42
4. New Mexico 40
5. UNLV 26
6. Utah 23
7. Air Force 9

 

2008 MWC BASEBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
(selected by MWC head coaches and select media)
Pos. Name, Class Institution
C Michael Brenly, Jr. UNLV
1B Kasey Ko, Jr.BYU
Matt Vern, Jr. TCU
2B Sean McNaughton, So. BYU
Matt Hibbitts, Sr. New Mexico
3B Steve Parker, So. BYU
SS Bryan Kervin, Sr. TCU
OF Kent Walton, Jr. BYU
OF Brandon Glover, Sr. San Diego State
OF Clint Arnold, Sr. TCU
OF Corey Shimada, So. Utah
P Stephen Strasburg, So. San Diego State
P Bobby LaFromboise, Sr. New Mexico
UT/DH Nick Romero, Jr. San Diego State