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2011 CBD Season Preview: Mountain West

The Mountain West Conference was dominated by TCU last season as the Horned Frogs went 21-5 to win the conference by four games over New Mexico, who went 14-8. San Diego State finished third, with a 13-11 record. BYU finished in fourth place at 12-12, while UNLV finished in fifth place with a 11-13 record. Utah finished sixth at 10-13, with Air Force struggling mightily as they finished 3-20. 

TCU won the postseason tournament by going a perfect 3-0 to get the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Horned Frogs were selected to host an NCAA Regional which they won in three games with victories over Lamar (16-3), Arizona (11-5), and Baylor (9-0). They were sent to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns in the Super Regionals. The Horned Frogs surprised some by winning the Super Regional in three games to make it to the College World Series.

In Omaha, they went 3-2 with victories over Florida State twice (8-1, 11-7) and UCLA (6-2). The two losses also came to UCLA by scores of 6-3 and 10-3 to end their season.

Air Force (13-42 overall, 3-20 Mountain West)
Top Returnees
Garrett Custons (.328, 9 HR, 64 RBI, 16-21 SB)
Blair Roberts (.321, 20 RBI)
Nathan Carter (.309, 11 3B, 9 HR, 28 RBI)

Key Losses
Addison Gentry (.346, 13 HR, 61 RBI)
Matt Alexander (.345, 7 HR, 46 RBI)

BYU (27-31 overall, 12-12 Mountain West)
Top Returnees
Alex Wolfe (.355, 11 HR, 63 RBI)
Ryan Bernal (.308, 14 HR, 50 RBI)
Dane Nielsen (.347, 3 HR, 39 RBI)
Chris Capper (4-2, 4.80)

Key Losses
Kevin Sloan (9-2, 3.15)
Brandon Relf (.358, 4 HR, 30 RBI)
Jonathon Cluff (.358, 5 HR, 51 RBI)
Sean McNaughton (.339, 18 HR, 60 RBI)

New Mexico (38-22 overall, 14-8 Mountain West)
Key Returnees
Alex Allbritton (.301, 11 2B, 31 RBI)
Rudy Jaramillo (4-2, 5.83)
Ben Woodchick (.305, 13 RBI)
Gera Sanchez (2-2, 5.32, 5 SV)

Key Losses
Justin Howard (.456, 10 HR, 72 RBI)
Chris Juarez (.402, 2 HR, 33 RBI)
Rafael Neda (.362, 11 HR, 64 RBI)
Willy Kesler (6-3, 3.92)

San Diego State (28-28, 13-11 Mountain West)
Top Returnees
Brandon Meredith (.383, 7 HR, 54 RBI)
Jomel Torres (.316, 5 HR, 42 RBI)
Bryan Crabb (4-5, 3.89)
John Pecoraro (3-4, 4.46, 6 SV)

Key Losses
Mitch Blackburn (.372, 4 HR, 36 RBI)
Addison Reed (8-2, 2.50, 90 K)
Cory Vaughn (.378, 9 HR, 55 RBI)

TCU (54-14 overall, 21-5 Mountain West)
Top Returnees
Matthew Purke (16-0, 3.02)
Steven Maxwell (11-2, 2.70)
Jason Coats (.361, 13 HR 69 RBI)
Kyle Winkler (12-3, 3.39)

Key Losses
Bryan Holaday (.355, 17 HR, 53 RBI)
Matt Curry (.339, 18 HR, 65 RBI)
Trent Lockwood (6-2, 2.19, 8 SV)

UNLV (29-29 overall, 11-13 Mountain West)
Key Returnees
Tanner Peters (7-5, 5.63)
Brandon Bayardi (.350, 9 HR, 57 RBI)
Cash Thomas (.330, 25 RBI, 8-10 SB)
Brady Zuniga (5-1, 4.80)

Key Losses
Kyle Kretchmer (.364, 9 HR 40 RBI)
Jarred Frierson (.359, 6 HR, 53 RBI)
Drew Beuerlein (.355, 10 HR, 60 RBI)
Matt Hutchison (6-4, 4.46, 4 SV)

Utah (23-28 overall, 10-13 Mountain West)
Key Returnees
C.J. Cron (.431, 20 HR, 81 RBI)
Michael Beltran (.338, 20 RBI, 16-22 SB)
Rick Anton (7-3, 5.13)
Tyler Wagner (0-1, 2.11, 3 SV)

Key Losses
Nick Kuroczko (.330, 7 HR, 44 RBI)
Nik Gumeson (.326, 12 HR, 36 RBI)
Jordan Whatcott (5-9, 6.58)

Predictions
1. TCU
2. New Mexico
3. Utah
4. UNLV
5. San Diego State
6. BYU
7. Air Force

Preseason Player of the Year: C.J. Cron (Utah)
Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Matt Purke (TCU)