Jan. 5, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team was selected to finished fourth in the West Coast Conference in the 2005 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Broncos were picked to finished behind Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and San Diego.
"This is going to be a very competitive conference this season," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "Even though we were picked fourth overall and second in the West Division, this is the reason you play the games to see who the winner will be."
The Lions, who were the winners of the Coast Division a year ago and picked in the poll as the favorite to win the division in 2005, earned three of the eight first place votes. LMU tallied 44 total points, just one more than Pepperdine.
The Waves also earned three of the eight first place votes and totaled 43 points, to finish one vote behind the Lions. After winning the West Division a year ago and claiming the WCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, Pepperdine is picked to repeat as West Division champions in 2005.
San Diego garnered the remaining two first place votes. The Toreros finished with 40 total points and were selected to finish second behind LMU in the Coast Division.
Santa Clara claimed the fourth position in the poll with 32 total points. Tabbed to finish second in the WCC's West Division this season, the Broncos will return seven players who hit over .300 in 2004.
Gonzaga earned 22 total points to place fifth in the poll. San Francisco followed the Bulldogs in the sixth spot with 21 points. Saint Mary's and Portland rounded out the conference in the seventh and eighth places, respectively.
With the majority of its offensive weapons returning in 2005, Santa Clara will also bring experience back on the mound. Preseason All-American Anthony Rea and All-WCC selection Kellan McConnell will return to SCU to lead the pitching core in 2005.
SCU will begin its season on Friday, January 28 when it hosts UC Riverside in the opening series. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.