Picked to Finish Second, Tri-Captains Elected

Captains have been elected for BYU's baseball team which was just picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference.

Infielders Kainoa Obrey and Ranger Wiens join pitcher Jason Garcia as newly-elected captains Thursday by their teammates for the 2003 season. Obrey is a repeat selection as team captain, having served during 2002 when he obtained a hardship medical redshirt and was drafted in the 11th round by the Kansas City Royals.

The Cougars were voted Thursday to finish second by the league's coaches behind San Diego State, who was picked to win for the fourth straight year. In a vote of the six MWC head coaches, the Aztecs received five-of six first-place votes, while New Mexico received one.

The Aztecs collected 25 points to capture the top spot in the poll. BYU earned 19 points to place second in the poll, followed by UNLV (17 points), Utah (12 points), New Mexico (11 points) and Air Force (six points).

Defending regular season champion SDSU posted a 43-23 overall record (20-10 MWC) last season and placed second at the MWC Championship in Provo. Despite winning last year's conference tournament title and coming within a game of the NCAA Super Regional, the Cougars (31-31-1, 15-14 MWC) placed second in this year's poll.

After placing fifth in the MWC race three straight years, UNLV was picked third in this year's poll. The Rebels were 30-30 (13-17 MWC) overall last year under first-year head coach Jim Schlossnagle. Utah, 33-26 overall a year ago, is coming off its best season since joining the MWC after finishing second to the Aztecs in the final standings at 16-14.

MWC Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll

Pl. Team (1st votes) Points

1. San Diego State (5) 25

2. BYU 19

3. UNLV 17

4. Utah 12

5. New Mexico (1) 11

6. Air Force 6