NMSU Baseball Picked To Finish Second In WAC, Fishback And Bradish Named Preseason Player And Pitcher Of The Year

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

DENVER, CO – The Western Athletic Conference announced the 2018 baseball preseason honors on Wednesday morning. New Mexico State’s Mason Fishback and Kyle Bradish were selected as WAC Preseason Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. In total four Aggies were selected for the 2018 Preseason All-WAC Team, which led the conference.

Fishback was named a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Second Team All-American and earned First Team All-WAC honors in 2017. The catcher became just the second player in program history to earn Collegiate Baseball Newspaper All-American honors. In 53 starts the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native boasted a .365 batting average to go along with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 52 runs batted in.

Bradish was also named to the First Team All-WAC following an impressive sophomore season. The pitcher anchored the starting rotation with an 8-2 record and a 3.20 ERA in 15 games. The right-hander led the team and finished second in the WAC with 89 strikeouts and tied for the team and conference lead in wins with eight. Bradish followed up the school season by earning All-Star honors during the summer with the Falmouth Commodores in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League.

After a standout rookie season Joey Ortiz was named to the 2018 Preseason All-WAC Team. The infielder excelled in his first year collegiately as the everyday third baseman. Ortiz committed only three errors in 54 games with 53 starts at the hot corner. The Garden Grove, Calif. native ended the season with a .979 fielding percentage and batted .306 with 14 extra-base hits and 35 RBI.

Junior Tristen Carranza rounded out the Aggies on the Preseason All-WAC Team. In 2017 Carranza was named to the Second-Team All-WAC. The slugger had a .314 batting average with a league-high 16 home runs and 52 RBI. His .649 slugging percentage also led the WAC and the Aggies 120 total bases ranked third in the conference.

New Mexico State was picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference with 54 points and a pair of first-place votes. The 2018 WAC Preseason Coaches Poll selected Grand Canyon to finish first with five first-place votes. Sacramento State finished third and received the remaining first-place vote in the poll.

NM State baseball opens the season at Presley Askew Field with a three-game weekend series against Towson University, Feb. 16-18. The season-opener comes on Friday, Feb. 16, at 6:05 p.m.

2018 Preseason All-WAC Team
Catcher: Mason Fishback, Sr., NM State
First Base: Vinny Esposito, Sr., Sacramento State
First Base: Ian Evans, Sr., Grand Canyon
Second Base: Austin Bull, Jr., Grand Canyon
Third Base: Andrew Penner, Sr., CSU Bakersfield
Shortstop: Joey Ortiz, So., NM State
Outfield: Tristen Carranza, Jr., NM State
Outfield: Ian Dawkins, Sr., Sacramento State
Outfield: James Outman, Jr., Sacramento State
Outfield: Jack Pauley, Jr., Northern Colorado
Starting Pitcher: Kyle Bradish, Jr., NM State
Starting Pitcher: Jake Wong, Jr., Grand Canyon
Starting Pitcher: Tarik Skubal, Jr., Seattle U
Relief Pitcher: Naithen Dewsnap, Sr., CSU Bakersfield

2018 Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Grand Canyon (5) 61
2. NM State (2) 54
3. Sacramento State (1) 51
4. Seattle U (1) 46
5. CSU Bakersfield 32
6. Utah Valley 30
7. UT Rio Grande Valley 23
8. Northern Colorado 19
9. Chicago State 8