Mountain West Baseball Preview

Due to some requests we will have a weekly post or two regarding Mountain West baseball, and the first games start this Friday.  So, this will be an attempt at an informative preview to the 2009 season, as well as a few posts a week talking MWC baseball.  TCU is the favorite to win the MWC, last year they were one game away from advancing to the College World Series before losing to Texas in the Super Regionals.

Utah last year made a historical run where they won the Mountain West tournament to advance to the NCAA's for the first time since 1960.

Wyoming and Colorado State do not have varsity baseball teams, so the league has seven teams.

In the Baseball America top 25 preseason poll they have TCU as the only MWC representative at 11.  While Rivals has the Horned Frogs at 19.

Check these links for more in depth previews on each team.

Air Force With the return of six seniors and six starters, Air Force baseball enters the 2010 season with its most veteran team in the six years under head coach Mike Hutcheon. Led by returning first-team All-American senior Matt Alexander and senior right-hander Alex Truesdale, the Air Force baseball coaching staff regards this team as one of the most talented groups to come through the Academy in recent years.

BYU "Offensively, this may be one of the best clubs we’ve had," said BYU coach Vance Law, who enters his 11th year of Mountain West Conference competition. "We are well balanced from top to bottom with a good mix of power and speed."

New Mexico The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference Preseason Poll as announced by the conference office today. Senior Max Willett, junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda and junior Ryan Honeycutt were selected to the All-MWC Preseason team. TCU was picked to finish first and received all 10 first-place votes.

San Diego State A trio of San Diego State players has been selected to the 12-man Mountain West Conference preseason baseball team in a vote of the league's seven coaches. That threesome includes outfielder Cory Vaughn, pitcher Addison Reed and second baseball Mitch Blackburn. As a team, the Aztec have been picked to finish third in the final regular-season standings.

TCU The Horned Frogs welcome back one of the nation’s best pitching staffs, but offense is a concern with the departure of several key cogs.

UNLV Senior outfielder Rance Roundy represented the Rebels on the preseason All-MWC team, which was voted on by the league's head coaches. Roundy hit .364 with three home runs and 32 RBI, and he ended 2009 hitting safely in 15 of the last 16 games of the season, raising his average nearly 80 points in the process.

 

Utah Last year, the Utah baseball team had one of its best seasons in its history, winning its first Mountain West Conference tournament and reaching the NCAA Baseball Championship for the first time since 1960, capping it off by winning two games in the regional round.

Keep reading for pre season polls and all-conference team.

2010 MWC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
(selected by MWC head coaches and media)
Rk. Team (1st place votes) Points

 

1. TCU (10) 70
2. New Mexico 55
3. San Diego State 47
4. Utah 45
5. BYU 28
6. UNLV 22
7. Air Force 13

 

2010 MWC BASEBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
(selected by MWC head coaches)
Pos. Name, Class Institution
C Rafael Neda, Jr. New Mexico
1B Addison Gentry, Sr. Air Force
2B Mitch Blackburn, Sr. San Diego State
3B Nick Kuroczko, Sr. Utah
SS Taylor Featherston, So. TCU
OF Ryan Honeycutt, Jr. New Mexico
OF Max Willett, Sr. New Mexico
OF Cory Vaughn, Jr. San Diego State
OF Rance Roundy, Sr. UNLV
P Addison Reed, Jr. San Diego State
P Kyle Winkler, So. TCU
UT/DH Matt Alexander, Sr. Air Force
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