Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
DENVER, CO - The New Mexico State baseball team was voted to finish in second place, after receiving 52 points, in the 2017 Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll, the conference announced Wednesday morning.
The head coaches’ poll placed Seattle U at the top of the WAC standings with four first place votes and a total of 60 points. The Aggies finished just behind the Redhawks with one first place vote and 52 points. Sacramento State tallied 47 points and two first-place votes, good for third and Grand Canyon finished right behind with 46 points in fourth place. The final two first-place votes were given to Utah Valley who registered 43 points to take the fifth seed. CSU Bakersfield garnered 25 points to get sixth, while UTRGV (24), Northern Colorado (19) and Chicago State (8) rounded out the rest of the preseason poll.
Catcher Mason Fishback, third baseman Trey Stine, designated hitter/outfielder Austin Botello and pitcher Kyle Bradish were named to the 2017 Preseason All-WAC Team.
Fishback earned First-Team All-WAC honors last season as a junior after batting .384 with four home runs and 21 runs batted in throughout conference play. Overall, Fishback finished the season with a .329 average, four homers and 28 RBI over 42 games, including 39 starts.
Senior Trey Stine was named Second-Team All-WAC in 2016 after belting seven home runs with 39 RBI. The third baseman recorded 27 extra-base hits, including 19 doubles - which were the most by an Aggie since 2011 and tied for the WAC lead last season.
Splitting time in the outfield and as the Aggies designated hitter, preseason All-WAC nominee Austin Botello finished last season second on the with a .354 batting average. The senior also played in 56-of-57 games, to go with 55 starts. Botello finished second on the team in home runs (8), RBI (55), triples (3) and slugging percentage (.528).
Rounding out the nominees is sophomore pitcher Kyle who became just the fifth Aggie in school history to be named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and the first since 2010 (Zac Fisher). Bradish led the team in wins (8), starts (15), innings pitched (86.2) and strikeouts (82).
Seattle U pitcher Nick Meservey and Grand Canyon outfielder Garrison Schwartz were selected as WAC Preseason Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively.
NM State’s season opens on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. MT as the team hosts Bryant at the Presley Askew Field.
2017 Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Seattle U (4) 60
2. NM State (1) 52
3. Sacramento State (2) 47
4. Grand Canyon 46
5. Utah Valley (2) 43
6. CSU Bakersfield 25
7. UT Rio Grande Valley 24
8. Northern Colorado 19
9. Chicago State 8
2017 Preseason All-WAC Team
Catcher: Mason Fishback, Jr., NM State
First Base: Sean Sutton, Jr., Seattle U
Second Base: David Metzgar, Sr., CSU Bakersfield
Third Base: Trey Stine, Sr., NM State
Shortstop: Griffin Andreychuk, Sr., Seattle U
Outfield: Garrison Schwartz, Jr., Grand Canyon
Outfield: Austin Botello, Sr., NM State
Outfield: Jose Garcia, Sr., UT Rio Grande Valley
Starting Pitcher: Nick Meservey, Jr., Seattle U
Starting Pitcher: Kyle Bradish, So., NM State
Starting Pitcher: Tarik Skubal, Jr., Seattle U
Relief Pitcher: Connor Moore, Sr., Seattle U
At-Large: Zach Malis, So., Grand Canyon
At-Large: Max Carter, Sr., CSU Bakersfield