FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – In a polling of the Conference’s baseball coaches, NCAA runner-up UCLA has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 title in 2011. The Bruins, searching for their first Pac-10 title since 2000, received eight first-place votes and 79 total points.
UCLA is coming off its first ever appearance in the finals of the College World Series. The Bruins finished the season 51-17, posting their highest single-season win total in school history. UCLA enters the season ranked in the top three in the preseason polls, including a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Preseason Poll. The Bruins return 20 letterwinners from last season, including junior All-American pitchers Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. Both players were named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America teams.
STANFORD received two first-place votes and 66 points for the No. 2 spot, while ARIZONA STATE, winners of the last four Pac-10 crowns, was picked third. OREGON received 59 points and ARIZONA nabbed 48 points to round out the top five.
CALIFORNIA was picked sixth with 46 points, WASHINGTON STATE was seventh with 37 points and OREGON STATE was eighth with 28 points. USC received 16 points to place ninth and WASHINGTON picked up 11 points for 10th place.
The Pac-10 sent a record eight teams to the NCAA Tournament last season. The 2011 season begins Friday, February 18, when nine teams take to the field. All 10 teams will be in action that opening weekend. Conference play begins Friday, March 25.
Following are the results of the preseason coaches’ poll. Nine points are awarded for a first-place vote, eight points for a second-place vote and so on. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
2011 Pac-10 Baseball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. UCLA (8) 79
2. Stanford (2) 66
3. Arizona State 60
4. Oregon 59
5. Arizona 48
6. California 46
7. Washington State 37
8. Oregon State 28
9. USC 16
10. Washington 11