DENVER, Colo.--The CSU Bakersfield baseball team has been picked fifth by the head coaches of the Western Athletic Conference in the preseason poll released Feb. 5.

Dallas Baptist has been selected as the favorite to win the 2013 Western Athletic Conference regular season baseball crown in a vote by the league’s 10 head coaches. The Patriots received 80 points and eight first place votes after a 41-19 season last year as an independent. DBU advanced to its second-straight NCAA Tournament last season. DBU joins the WAC this season after playing as a Division I independent the past nine seasons. As an independent, the Patriots have made three trips to the NCAA tournament, including an NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2011.

Texas State ranked second with 65 points and one first place votes. Texas State was followed by 2012 WAC regular season co-champion New Mexico State with 60 points. 2012 WAC regular season co-champion Sacramento State was selected fourth with 54 points and one first place vote. The Hornets dropped a 4-3 decision in 13 innings to Fresno State in the WAC Tournament championship game last season.

CSU Bakersfield was picked fifth with 47 points. UT Arlington received 45 points to earn the No. 6 spot, followed by Louisiana Tech in seventh with 41 points. UTSA was eighth with 24 points. San Jose State received 23 points to place ninth, while Seattle U was 10th with 11 points.

The 51st year of WAC baseball begins Friday, February 15 when each of the league's 10 teams will open regular season play. The WAC Tournament will be held in Grand Prairie, Texas at QuikTrip Park, May 22-26. The top eight teams will advance to the tournament.

2013 WAC Baseball Coaches’ Poll

(Points awarded on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams)

Rank Team (first place votes) Points
1. Dallas Baptist (8) 80
2. Texas State (1) 65
3. New Mexico State 60
4. Sacramento State (1) 54
5. CSU Bakersfield 47
6. UT Arlington 45
7. Louisiana Tech 41
8. UTSA 24
9. San Jose State 23
10. Seattle U 11

WAC Baseball Team-By-Team Preview

CSU Bakersfield
CSUB added baseball in time for the 2009 season, and enters its fifth season in 2013. The Roadrunners became the first, first year team in any NCAA Division I sport to defeat the defending national champion when CSUB handed Fresno State a 4-3 defeat Apr. 4, 2009. In 2012, CSUB baseball became nationally known when its “Dance-Off” against Nebraska during a rain delay in Lincoln became viral. Footage of the “Dance-Off” appeared nationally on ESPN and in 21 different TV markets across the United States.

CSU Bakersfield Players to Watch:

Cael Brockmeyer - C/1B, R/R, 6-5, 220, Jr.
As a sophomore, Brockmeyer led team in home runs (6) and RBI’s (32). He reset school record for most putouts in a season with 393 and committed only two errors in 436 chances (.995 fielding percentage). He ranked second on squad in slugging percentage (.460) and was third on the team in on-base percentage (.388) and batting average (.285). Brockmeyer started 54 of the 55 games and became the first CSUB player to compete in the Cape Cod League with the Cotuit Kettleers. He hit .278 with five home runs and 13 RBI’s for the Kettleers He hit .244 with 13 RBI’s in 42 appearances as a freshman. Brockmeyer’s first career home run was the game-winning run against the No. 10 Arizona State Mar. 3. Brockmeyer started 30 times at either first base, catcher, or designated hitter.

Jonathan Montoya – P, L/L, 5-7, 157, R-Sr.
Montoya sat out 2012 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on his pitching arm. He reset the school records for most complete games (7) and wins in a season (8 tied with Mike McCarthy) as a junior. At one point, Montoya recorded five complete games in five starts. He started 16 games, going 8-5 and tied with McCarthy for lead in games started and victories. He struck out 86 (second on team) in 115.1 innings (second on the team). His opponents batted .245 against Montoya for the year.


Dallas Baptist
Dallas Baptist became a Division I counter in 2004 after two seasons of Division II play. Prior to joining the NCAA, DBU competed in the NAIA and qualified for 10 NAIA World Series between 1984 – 2002, twice finishing as National Runner-up (1985 and 2000).DBU has recorded 34 consecutive winning seasons in the sport of baseball. In 2008, only their third year of NCAA Division I postseason eligibility, DBU was selected as an at-large participant in the College Station Regional, the first independent to make an NCAA Regional since 1992. In 2011, the Patriots once again received at at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and were crowned champions of the Fort Worth Regional after wins over Oklahoma, TCU and Oral Roberts. Eleven Patriots have seen time in Major League Baseball with the latest being All-Star and Tampa Bay Ray, Ben Zobrist. Since 2006, DBU has seen eight players selected to All-American Teams and five players receive Freshman All-American honors.

Dallas Baptist Players to Watch:

Boomer Collins – OF, R/R, 5-11, 202, R-Sr.
Collins sat out 2011 after transferring from the University of Nebraska. In 2012, he made his presence known by being selected as ABCA Third Team All-American, NCBWA Third Team All-American and ABCA First Time All-Region. He earned those awards on the strength of his .374 average, 13 homeruns, 23 doubles, 58 RBI and 15 stolen bases. The native of Waxahachie, Texas, began his Patriot career with a leadoff homerun on Opening Day against Southeast Missouri. He also collected two walks, a stolen base, and scored three runs that day. He had five-straight multi-hit games from May 1 through May 5. He also had multiple hits in each game of the Bradley series to end the regular season. Collins collected hits in each game of the Waco Regional and finished with three RBI and two runs scored.

Cy Sneed – RHP, R/R, 6-4, 197, So.
Sneed had seventeen starts as a true freshman in 2012 and compiled an 8-5 record with a 4.45 ERA. The Twin Falls, Idaho, native struck out 71 batters in 85 innings. His first collegiate start came in the second game of the Opening Day doubleheader against Southeast Missouri. He threw five complete innings and allowed four hits and no runs to pick up his first collegiate win. He went six innings in his next start against Rice and allowed only two runs on five hits. Sneed also threw a complete game shutout against Houston Baptist on March 9, striking out seven. In his next start, he threw six scoreless against Charlotte and then threw a scoreless inning against Louisiana Tech on March 22 to run his scoreless inning streak to 16 complete. He threw 5.2 innings in that Tech game, giving up two runs and striking out ten to record the first double-digit strikeout game of his career.


Louisiana Tech
Twenty-three upperclassmen (10 seniors; 13 juniors) highlight this year’s squad – the most by any Tech team in head coach Wade Simoneaux’s tenure with the Bulldogs (entering his 11th year). LA Tech will play 21 games in 2013 against six different opponents that participated in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament; eleven of those contests will be played on the Bulldogs’ home field. Tech returns eight starting position players and two starting pitchers. The Bulldogs also have two top relievers returning to the mound in 2013. LA Tech welcomes 15 newcomers to the 2013 roster. The Bulldogs are entering their 12th and final year as members of the WAC. In its final season, LA Tech will battle new faces as six of the ten total teams are new to the conference schedule.

Louisiana Tech Players to Watch:

Phil Maton – RHP, R/R, 6-3, 200, So.
Maton was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team last season. He was also named second team all-state selection by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). Maton led the team in wins (8 – 12 starts) and earned run average (2.93) in his freshman season; 79 strikeouts in 89.0 innings pitched.

Ryan Gebhardt – INF, R/R, 5-11, 195, Jr.  
Gebhardt was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team. He also received second-team all-WAC honors and was named to the all-tournament team for the 2011 WAC Baseball Tournament. Gebhardt was named first team all-WAC by CollegeSportsMadness.com and second team all-state selection by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). Gebhardt  led the team in batting average (.341) and doubles (14) in 2012; started all 55 games he played in; 27 RBI and 5 stolen bases (T-2nd on the team).


New Mexico State
NM State won its first ever WAC regular season title in 2012.The Aggies have won 30 or more games for four consecutive seasons dating back to 2009.  Last year the Aggies finished with 35 victories. The team ranked in the top 25 nationally in 10 different offensive categories.  The Aggies ranked third in scoring (8 rpg.), fourth in runs (473) and second in base on balls (347). Former Aggie Tanner Waite was the national statistical leader for walks (69).The Aggies return four starting pitchers from last season’s NCAA Tournament team including Ryan Beck, (LHP), Adam Mott (RHP), Micheal Ormseth (RHP) and Casey Collins (RHP).NM State placed seven players on the All-WAC teams last year, which marked the most selections ever for an Aggie baseball team.  It was also the most selections by a team from the WAC last year. First team selections include Zac Fisher, Tanner Waite, Zack Voight, Adam Mott and Scott Coffman. Second team selections included Parker Hipp and Tanner Rust, both whom are on the roster this season.

New Mexico State Players to Watch:

Adam Mott – RHP, R/R, 6-5, 240, Sr.
Mott began his Aggie career by becoming an integral part of NM State’s starting pitching rotation in 2012.  He appeared in 19 games while making 14 starts for the Aggies. He finished with a 6-3 record, a 4.80 earned run average (ERA) and 78 strikeouts. Mott’s 14 starts, six wins, 4.80 ERA and 78 strikeouts were all good for second-best on the Aggie squad.  He also led NM State pitchers with a .276 opponent’s batting average.  Mott was most impressive at Presley Askew Field where he went undefeated at 4-0 and had a 3.96 ERA.  His ERA fell even lower when WAC play began.  Mott finished WAC play with a 2-1 record and a 3.13 ERA.    

Parker Hipp – INF, L/R, 6-2, 200, Sr.
Hipp finished off his junior campaign at NM State as he did his sophomore campaign, by being honored as a second-team All-WAC player. He started at second base for the Aggies during all 59 games of the 2012 season, finishing with a .929 fielding percentage and a team-high 148 assists.  His .349 batting average was good enough for second-best on the Aggie squad and third-best among WAC players. Hipp was also second on the team and the WAC in walks with 57 on the season, trailing only teammate Tanner Waite who led the nation in walks. Hipp’s 57 walks placed him sixth in the nation.  The combination of Hipp’s hitting ability and patience at the plate helped him lead the team and the WAC in on-base percentage. His .488 on-base percentage was the 12th highest in the country. Hipp also finished ranked nationally in sacrifice flies.  His team and WAC-leading eight sacrifice flies on the season placed him 11th in the nation.


Sacramento State
Sacramento State is coming off its first WAC regular season title in 11 years with the league. Sacramento State and Cornell were the only teams in the nation to go from last place in the conference standings in 2011 to a league title in 2012. While they won the regular season title, the Hornets came up just short in the WAC Tournament championship, falling to Fresno State in 13 innings. The Hornets nearly swept the WAC awards a season ago, with Reggie Christiansen earning coach of the year, second baseman Andrew Ayers claiming player of the year and outfielder/first baseman Rhys Hoskins winning freshman of the year. The Hornets return every pitcher who made a start last season, including all-WAC selection RHP Dallas Chadwick and weekend starters RHP Brennan Leitao and RHP Tanner Mendonca.

Sacramento State Players to Watch:

Rhys Hoskins – UTI, R/R, 6-4, 225, So.
Rhys Hoskins, a consensus freshman All-American and the WAC freshman of the year, will take over at first base full-time in his second season with the Hornets. Hoskins, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Sacramento, saw time in the outfield, at third base and at designated hitter last season. Hoskins led the team and ranked second in the WAC last season with a .353 batting average and a .567 slugging percentage. He also led the team and ranked third in the WAC with 53 RBIs and 10 home runs. Of those 10 home runs, Hoskins belted two grand slams last season and two multi-homer games. The sophomore tallied a team-high 16 game hitting streak and posted 22 multi-hit games. 

Andrew Ayers – INF, R/R, 5-11, 200, Sr.
Andrew Ayers, the reigning WAC player of the year, will continue to provide the Hornets with phenomenal defense and a great bat at second base. The Eureka, Calif., native started all 57 games last season. He recorded a team-high 160 assists while making 115 putouts. Despite all that work in the field, Ayers made just four errors and posted a .986 fielding percentage. Ayers hit .336 with 36 runs, 31 RBIs and tied for the team lead with 16 doubles. The senior truly shined in conference play, hitting .427 with 18 RBIs and seven doubles in 18 WAC games.


San Jose State
The 2013 San Jose State baseball team will be under the direction of first-year head coach Dave Nakama. Nakama replaced Sam Piraro who had been the head baseball coach since 1987. The Spartans lost seven letterwinners from 2012 and are returning 14. Nine starting position players are back with San Jose State and the team has eight seniors.

San Jose State Players to Watch:

Matt Lopez – IF/OF, L/L, 5-11, 200, Jr.
Lopez appeared in 45 games with 33 starts, all at first base in 2012. He led the team with a .322 batting average and .464 on-base percentage, was second with nine doubles and 23 walks, and fourth on the squad with 18 RBIs. Lopez had a season-long hitting streak of eight games (second longest on the team) from April 14-24, where he hit .590 (16-for-31) with five multi-hit performances and drove in seven runs, scored six times and hit two doubles. He had a career day came at Fresno State on April 15 as he went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and a run scored in leading the Spartans to an 11-2 win over the Bulldogs and their first sweep at Fresno in 12 years. Lopez committed just one error in 251 chances for a .996 fielding percentage.

Nick Schulz – OF, R/R, 6-3, 220, Sr.
Nick Schulz started 42 of 45 ballgames for San Jose State in 2012. As a junior the outfielder led the team with four homeruns, 21 RBIs, 24 walks and a .436 slugging percentage. The 6-3 220 pound right-handed hitter posted a career-high 16-game hitting streak from 3/6-4/6/12 during which he hit .327. The Mountain View, Calif., native returns to the Spartans as one of eight seniors in 2013. The slugger has proven to be a solid fielder as well having three outfield assists and just one error in 94 total chances. Collegesportsmadness.com has made Schulz a 2013 Western Athletic Conference Preseason All-Second Team selection.


Seattle U
Seattle University begins its first season in the Western Athletic Conference after three years as a Division I independent. The Seattle U baseball program was reestablished in the fall of 2007 after being dormant since 1986. Donny Harrel began as head coach July 1, 2008, and the 2008-09 year was used for recruiting and laying the foundation for the program. This year’s senior class will be the first four-year group for the baseball program since the sport was brought back at varsity status. The Redhawks have improved their win total each season, going from 11 in 2010 to 21 in 2011 to 23 in 2012. Seattle U plays its home games at Bannerwood Park in nearby Bellevue. The baseball program has partnered with the city of Bellevue for numerous improvements to the facility over the past three years. The most famous alums of the baseball program are Ed and John O’Brien, twin brothers from New Jersey who went on to play together for the Pittsburgh Pirates and held the record for most double plays turned by a brother combination until it was broken by the Ripken brothers (Billy and Cal Jr.).

Seattle U Players to Watch:

Brian Olson – C, R/R, 6-0, 190, So.
As a freshmen, Olson broke through into the starting lineup at catcher for the Redhawks. He appeared in 49 games, including 43 starts and batted .276 with eight doubles, two home runs, and 18 RBI. He walked 23 times while striking out only 16 times during season. Olson was named team MVP last season. He collected multiple hits in 10 games. Olson went 5-for-6 with two doubles and two runs scored during Seattle U’s 11-1 victory at Ohio State (May 12). He threw out 17 of 41 would-be base stealers (41.5%).   

Nate Roberts – INF, R/R, 5-9, 180, Sr.
Roberts has become one of the anchors of the Seattle U infield. He appeared in 48 games, including 47 starts, during 2012 season. Roberts finished year with .233 batting average, eight doubles, one home run, and 18 runs batted in. He also was perfect 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts. He went 3-for-4 with double and run scored in Seattle U’s 5-4 victory at Washington State (Apr. 7). Roberts started all 50 games in freshman season of 2010, finishing with 46 hits, including seven doubles and a home run, and 22 runs batted in.


Texas State
Last year the Bobcats began the season strong with a 14-6 record through the team's first 20 games, the second best 20-game start to a season since Ty Harrington took over as head coach in 2000. The start helped catapult Texas State up to No. 20 in the Baseball America rankings, the highest since the program began in 1985, and No. 30 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. Texas State hurlers did not allow a run over 57 2/3 consecutive innings, a streak spanning seven games from Feb. 25 to March 6. The Bobcats set the team record for scoreless innings and consecutive shutouts (5) and came up just 6 1/3 innings shy of the NCAA record of 64 consecutive scoreless innings set in 1972 by Arizona State. Texas State returns two all-conference players from a year ago (Andrew Stumph and Mitchell Pitts). Texas State has had five players selected in each of the last two Major League Drafts, and 32 overall players drafted since Ty Harrington took over in 2000. The Bobcats set an attendance record in 2012, averaging 1,236 fans per game. The overall attendance of 37,329 ranked 46th nationally.

Texas State Players to Watch:

Kyle Finnegan -  RHP, R/R, 6-2, 180, Jr.
Two-year letterman who appeared in 15 games, starting 14 in 2012. He threw a career-high eight innings twice, against UT Arlington and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Finnegan finished the year with a 3.28 ERA in 93 1/3 innings. He limited opponents to just a .242 average against him and struck out 75 while walking just 26. Finnegan began the season 4-0, with wins in each of his first four starts. He fanned a season-high 12 in 7.0 innings without allowing a run against Notre Dame (3/4). He allowed just two earned runs in 27 innings over his first four starts to begin the year. Finnegan threw a scoreless inning in his only relief appearance of the year, as part of an 8-4 win against TCU. He struck out eight without walking any in 7 1/3 innings against Sam Houston State (3/25). He pitched in eight games with one start as a freshman in 2011 … earned the victory in his lone start of the season against Prairie View A&M.

Morgan Mickan – OF, L/R, 6-1, 205, Sr.
Two-year letterman who started 29 games as an outfielder in 2012. He ranked second on the team with an on-base percentage of .392. Mickan had a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000 in 84 chances. He scored 21 runs in his 29 games. He began the year on a three-game hitting streak, going 5-for-12 (.417) with two RBI and a double during that streak. Mickan finished the year going 11-for-13 in steals, including a stretch of four straight games (5/4-9) with at least one stolen base. He also  finished the year scoring 10 runs over his last five games. He started 16 contests and played in 31 games during the 2011 season as an outfielder and designated hitter. Mickan posted a .230 batting average in 61 at-bats and registered seven runs scored and four stolen bases. He transferred to Texas State after playing one season at Texas.


UT Arlington
UTA Baseball is coming off a Southland Conference championship and trip to the NCAA Regionals. The 2013 nonconference schedule is highlighted by the Mavericks’ first-ever game at Rangers Ballpark, as UTA faces crosstown rival TCU on March 19 at 7 p.m. The nonconference slate also includes games against Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech. UTA is beginning its one and only season in the Western Athletic Conference. Thomas returns 21 letter winners from last season’s 36-25 squad.

UT Arlington Players to Watch:

Ryan Walker -- SS, L/R, 6-1, 170, JR
Walker is coming off a spectacular sophomore season that earned the Arlington native second-team All-Southland Conference honors. He was the only player on the club to start all 61 games last season, leading the Mavericks in batting average (.360), runs (56), hits (90), and was second on the team in total bases (102). His .417 on-base percentage ranked second on the team, and he topped the SLC in hits and runs scored. Named to the College Sports Madness' 2013 Madness WAC Baseball Preseason All-Conference First Team.
 
John Beck -- RHP, R/R, 6-3, 197, JR
Beck went 3-1 in nine appearances last season, including seven starts. He had a 4.30 ERA in 37.2 innings, striking out 25, while allowing 12 walks and 46 hits. He had a strong summer, striking out 10 in the championship game to earn his summer league team the National Baseball Congress World Series Championship. Beck pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one run for his Santa Barbara Foresters, who won the NBC championship for the second consecutive season and third time in four years.


UTSA
UTSA enters its first season in the Western Athletic Conference. Jason Marshall enters his first season as the fourth head coach in program history. He spent 12 seasons as an assistant at UTSA, including the last nine as the associate head coach. The Roadrunners return 21 letterwinners from last year's club that posted a 22-32 overall record. Junior outfielder Riley Good and junior shortstop RJ Perucki are among UTSA's top returners. Good was leading the nation in hits before being sidelined for most of the year with an injury, while Perucki garnered third-team All-Southland Conference honors for his play at shortstop. Junior pitcher Michael Kraft also returns after leading the squad with eight victories last season. The Roadrunners welcome 12 newcomers to the team, including eight junior college transfers. UTSA's 2013 schedule features seven teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago and 10 teams that finished in the RPI top 80. The Roadrunners also will face eight opponents for the first time, including four in WAC action.

UTSA Players to Watch:

Riley Good – OF, L/R, 6-0, 185, Jr.
Good competed in 25 games, including 23 starts, and missed most of the year due to an arm injury. He was leading the nation in hits prior to his injury. Good played the first 21 games of the campaign and returned to see action in four in May. He batted .354 in 96 at-bats with five doubles,  a triple, two home runs and nine RBIs. He scored 25 runs and stole eight bases, and also reached base at a .422 clip and slugged .490. Good recorded 11 multi-hit contests, including five three-hit games. He was named Southland Conference Hitter of the Week after batting .591 (13-for-22) with 12 runs scored, two doubles, a triple, one RBI and three stolen bases in five games. He also slugged .773 and reached base at a .654 clip during the week. He had a season-long 10-game hitting streak (2/19-3/4) where he saw his batting average rise 153 points to .510. During the streak he hit .548 with 16 runs scored, two doubles, a triple, one homer, five RBIs and stole four bases. Good also slugged .714 and reached base at a .596 clip in those 10 games.

Daniel Rockett – OF, R/R, 6-2, 200, Sr.
Rockett gained honorable mention All-Southland honors for his performance in center field last season. He played and started in 53 of UTSA’s 54 games. He batted .266 with 30 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, five round-trippers and 40 RBIs. Rockett ranked second on team with 13 stolen bases. He posted a team-high nine outfield assists and led team with 18 multi-hit contests and recorded nine multi-RBI games. He went 3-for-7 with a  two-run homer, bases-clearing double, a game-winning single in the 13th  inning and six RBIs to lift UTSA past Houston Baptist (2/21). He posted his first career multi-home run game after going 2-for-4 with a pair of solo bombs at Central Arkansas (4/29). He was 3-for-4 with a two runs scored and a stolen base at Texas State (5/12).

Portions of this release are courtesy of WAC Media Relations