DENVER – Fresno State has been selected as the favorite to win the 2012 Western Athletic Conference regular season baseball crown in a vote by the league’s seven head coaches. The coaches also voted on a preseason all-WAC team with New Mexico State leading the way as it placed five players on the team. New Mexico State junior catcher Zac Fisher was named the preseason player of the year, while San Jose State junior Zack Jones was picked the preseason pitcher of the year.
Fresno State received 33 points and four first place votes after a 40-16 season last year. The Bulldogs have won the WAC regular season title five out of the past six seasons. San Jose State ranked second with 31 points and three first place votes. SJSU was followed by Hawai‘i with 29, Nevada and New Mexico State with 17, Louisiana Tech with 14 points, and Sacramento State with six.
The preseason all-WAC team included five New Mexico State players: sophomore outfielder Tanner Waite, senior outfielder Bryan Karraker, junior second baseman Parker Hipp, junior catcher Zac Fisher and senior relief pitcher Scott Coffman.
Hawai‘i had four players on the team: junior outfielder Breland Almadova, junior shortstop Pi’ikea Kitamura, senior third baseman Collin Bennett and senior starting pitcher Matt Sisto. San Jose State had two players on the team: junior Zack Jones made the team both as a designated hitter and a releif pitcher, while junior Mike Aldrete made the team as a utility player. Fresno State also placed two on the team in sophomore outfielder Aaron Judge and sophomore starting pitcher Tyler Linehan. Nevada was represented by junior starting pitcher Tom Jameson. Sacramento State junior first baseman Clady Cederquist represented the Hornets.
Fisher was picked as the preseason player of the year after hitting .398 last year with 68 hits, 35 runs, 56 RBI, 16 doubles and eight home runs. Jones was selected the preseason pitcher of the year after posting 10 saves with 53 strikeouts and a 3.98 ERA last season.
The 50th year of WAC baseball begins Friday, February 17 when each of the league’s seven teams will open regular season play. The WAC Tournament will be held in Mesa, Arizona at Hohokam Stadium, May 23-27. The top six teams will advance to the tournament.
2012 Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Fresno State (4) 33
2. San Jose State (3) 31
3. Hawai‘i 29
T4. Nevada 17
T4. New Mexico State 17
6. Louisiana Tech 14
7. Sacramento State 6
Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams
OF – Aaron Judge, So., Fresno State
OF – Breland Almadova, Jr., Hawai‘i
OF – Tanner Waite, So., New Mexico State
OF – Bryan Karraker, Sr., New Mexico State
1B – Clay Cederquist, Jr., Sacramento State
2B – Parker Hipp, Jr., New Mexico State
SS – Pi’ikea Kitamura, Jr., Hawai‘i
3B – Collin Bennett, Sr., Hawai‘i
C – Zac Fisher, Jr., New Mexico State
DH – Zack Jones, Jr., San Jose State
UTI- Mike Aldrete, Jr., San Jose State
SP – Matt Sisto, Sr., Hawai‘i
SP – Tyler Linehan, So., Fresno State
SP – Tom Jameson, Jr., Nevada
RP – Zack Jones, Jr., San Jose State
RP – Scott Coffman, Sr., New Mexico State
Player of the Year
Zac Fisher, Jr., C, New Mexico State
Pitcher of the Year
Zack Jones, Jr., San Jose State