Keaton Kringlen (pictured) and teammate Colton Shaver were Preseason All-WCC selections by the league coaches who picked BYU baseball to finish fourth. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah—Fourth is where BYU baseball was picked to finish in the West Coast Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll released on Thursday.
The defending champion Cougars were picked behind perennial favorite San Diego, fellow tri-champion Gonzaga and Pepperdine. Saint Mary’s, who also tied with BYU and Gonzaga last season, was picked to finish fifth in the league, followed by San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Santa Clara and Portland.
“The only exciting thing about seeing all of these preseason polls is that it means the season is right around the corner, other than that they don’t mean a whole lot,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “As a program we don’t waste any time looking at preseason polls and we know what’s important is where we actually stand when the season ends. We have a tough schedule this year and we know our league will be another fight to the bitter end.”
In other polls around the nation, BYU was selected to win the WCC by Baseball America magazine, second by D1 Baseball.com, and fourth by Perfect Game. The top four teams in the league advance to the WCC Tournament on May 25-27 in Stockton, California where the winner gets the automatic berth to the NCAA Championships.
Junior first baseman Colton Shaver and sophomore outfielder Keaton Kringlen were the only Cougars selected to the Coaches Preseason All-WCC team.
Shaver was earlier picked as the WCC preseason Player of Year and WCC No. 12 Top Prospects by D1baseball.com. He was also an All-WCC preseason pick by Perfect Game and a WCC preseason Top 10 prospect by Baseball America.
Kringlen was also picked to the All-WCC preseason team by Perfect Game and to the WCC No. 10 Top 2018 Prospects, by D1baseball.com.
Other Cougars who have been selected to preseason honors are: pitcher Maverik Buffo WCC preseason Top 10 prospect, Baseball America; catcher David Clawson, WCC No. 1 Impact Freshmen, D1baseball.com and WCC No. 3 Top 2018 Prospects, D1baseball.com; outfielder Kyle Dean WCC No. 2 Top 2018 Prospects, D1baseball.com; shortstop Daniel Schneemann, WCC No. 6 Top 2018 Prospects, D1baseball.com; and pitcher Connor Williams, WCC preseason Top 10 prospect, Baseball America.