Jan. 10, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team was picked to finish sixth by the coaches in the annual West Coast Conference preseason poll that was released Thursday morning by the conference office.
After a year in which the Broncos finished tied for first in their division and third overall, the Broncos return many of their key components from last season and a revitalized attitude under new head coach Mark O'Brien.
The sixth place prediction was somewhat expected with a new coaching staff but O'Brien remains optimistic about his team's future. "Hopefully we can surprise some people this year," the first-year head coach said. "The key for us will be taking each game one at a time."
The Broncos will begin taking it one game at a time on Friday, February 1 at 2 p.m. when they welcome Collegiate Baseball's preseason No. 11 team, Fresno State, to Buck Shaw Stadium for the first of a three-game set.
The Bulldogs will be the first three of 28 home games at Buck Shaw Stadium that also includes two games with No. 1 Stanford, California, UC Santa Barbara, BYU and defending WCC Champion Pepperdine.
Santa Clara will also face a tough road schedule including two games at No. 1 Stanford, three games at Nevada, four games at Hawaii-Hilo, three games at Gonzaga, three games at San Diego and three more at Peppderdine.
WCC Preseason Coaches' Poll (First Place Votes) 1. San Diego 44 (4) 1. Pepperdine 44 (2) 3. Loyola Marymount 35 (1) 4. Gonzaga 29 5. San Francisco 25 (1) 6. Santa Clara 23 7. Portland 14 8. Saint Maryıs 10