The Cal Poly baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the nine-team Big West Conference this season in a coaches poll released Wednesday.
The Mustangs finished third in the conference a year ago, posting a 27-26 (15-9 Big West) record. The Mustangs set Division I program records in lowest ERA (3.60), lowest opponents batting average (.254) and fewest walks allowed (152) among others.
However, the Mustangs come into this season after losing two of their three starting pitchers. They’ll be without Mason Radeke, who finished last year with a 3.07 ERA and a team-high 95 strikeouts, and Steven Fischback, who posted a 3.33 ERA and a 7-3 record.
Cal Poly will also lose its top contributor at the plate, Bobby Crocker, who hit .339 with 13 doubles.
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The Mustangs will have Mike Miller back though. He hit .306 with 23 RBI in 2011. They’ll also have Mitch Haniger, a former Big West Freshman Player of the Year, and Denver Chavez, who hit .277 last season.
Cal State Fullerton was selected to finish at the top of the conference, earning six first-place votes.
UC Irvine was selected to finish second, with three first-place votes, and Long Beach State was picked fourth.
Cuesta 65, Oxnard 50
Calen Coleman scored 14 points, and Cuesta defeated Oxnard.
Coleman was one of three scorers in double figures for Cuesta (17-7, 5-1 Western State Conference).
Nick Sauer scored 13 points, and Sofian M’Rad had 10 as the Cougars remained tied with Ventura atop the WSC’s Northern Division. Cuesta hosts Ventura on Saturday.
The Cougars shot 52 percent from the floor, and 40 percent from behind the 3-point line, despite trailing Oxnard (10-11) 33-29 at the half.
Cuesta 71, Oxnard 59
WSC Player of the Week Kati Sheldon led Cuesta with 17 points and added nine rebounds in the win over Oxnard.
Aria Johnson scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds, Anika Bauermeister scored 13 points, and Alyssa Palma led with nine assists for Cuesta (12-9, 4-2 WSC).
The Condors (5-11) shot below 20 percent in the first half and finished the game making just 19 of 74 field goals.
Sheldon received player of the week honors after combining for 41 points, 22 rebounds and seven steals in Cuesta’s games versus Santa Barbara and L.A. Pierce last week.
Cuesta hires new coach
Cuesta named Sheila McGuire its fifth coach in program, history.
Most recently, McGuire coached at San Joaquin Delta College as an assistant. In her five seasons with the program, the Mustangs went 144-79-2.
The Mustangs also reached the postseason in each of her last three years, and finished second in the state last season, after going 44-2.