DENVER - Fresno State has been selected as the favorite to win the 2008 Western Athletic Conference regular season baseball crown in a vote by the league’s seven head coaches. The coaches also voted on a preseason all-WAC team, and Fresno State placed seven players on the team while Nevada had four. Fresno State senior outfielder Steve Susdorf was named the preseason player of the year while his teammate, senior Clayton Allison, was picked the preseason pitcher of the year.
Fresno State received 36 points and six first place votes after a 38-29 season last year. The Bulldogs have won both the WAC regular season and tournament titles the past two seasons. Louisiana Tech ranked second with 29 points followed by Nevada with 26, Hawai‘i with 23, San Jose State with 16 points, Sacramento State with 10, and New Mexico State with seven.
The preseason all-WAC team included seven Fresno State players: senior outfielder Steve Susdorf, junior second baseman Eric Wetzel, senior shortstop Todd Sandell, junior catcher Danny Grubb, senior pitcher Clayton Allison, junior pitcher Tanner Scheppers, and senior reliever Jason Breckley. Susdorf was picked as the preseason player of the year after hitting .340 last year with 68 RBI, 12 home runs and 14 doubles. Allison was selected the preseason pitcher of the year after posting a 10-5 record with a 4.50 ERA last season.
Nevada had four players on the team: sophomore first baseman Shaun Kort, senior DH Terry Walsh, junior utility player Matt Bowman, and senior reliever Mario Rivera. Hawai‘i placed two on the team in senior outfielder Brandon Haislet and junior pitcher Matt Daly. Sophomore outfielder Tim Wheeler and senior third baseman David Flores represented Sacramento State. New Mexico State's lone representative was senior outfielder Joseph Scaperotta.
The 46th year of WAC baseball begins Friday, February 22 when each of the league's seven teams will open regular season play. The WAC Tournament will be held in Ruston at Louisiana Tech's J.C. Love Field, May 22-25. The top six teams will advance to the tournament.
2008 WAC Baseball Coaches’ Poll
(Points awarded on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams)
Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total
1. Fresno St. 6 – – – – – 36
2. Louisiana Tech 1 3 2 – – – 29
3. Nevada – 3 2 1 – – 26
4. Hawai‘i – 1 3 2 – – 23
5. San Jose St. – – – 4 2 – 16
6. Sacramento St. – – – – 4 2 10
7. New Mexico St. – – – – 1 5 7
Preseason All-WAC Team
OF Steve Susdorf, Sr., Fresno State
OF Brandon Haislet, Sr., Hawai‘i
OF Tim Wheeler, So., Sacramento State
OF Joseph Scaperotta, Sr., New Mexico State
1B Shaun Kort, So., Nevada
2B Eric Wetzel, Jr., Fresno State
SS Todd Sandell, Sr., Fresno State
3B David Flores, Sr., Sacramento State
C Danny Grubb, Jr., Fresno State
DH Terry Walsh, Sr., Nevada
UTI Matt Bowman, Jr., Nevada
SP Clayton Allison, Sr., Fresno State
SP Tanner Scheppers, Jr., Fresno State
SP Matt Daly, Jr., Hawai‘i
RP Jason Breckley, Sr., Fresno State
RP Mario Rivera, Sr., Nevada
Player of the Year
Steve Susdorf, Sr., Fresno State
Pitcher of the Year
Clayton Allison, Sr., Fresno State