Cal Lutheran Garners Top Spot in 2017 SCIAC Baseball Coaches’ Poll

Cal Lutheran Garners Top Spot in 2017 SCIAC Baseball Coaches’ Poll

After sharing part of the 2016 SCIAC Championship title Cal Lutheran has been selected first in the 2017 baseball preseason coaches' poll.  The Kingsmen received four of nine first-place votes, and 73 points total, to finish five points ahead of runner-up Occidental College.

"We are honored to be selected as the preseason favorite," said CLU head coach Marty Slimak. "Based on 2016 we are looking forward to another competitive season in the SCIAC and hope to emerge as the champion as our student-athletes have been working hard getting ready for the season."

The Occidental Tigers garnered a first place vote and accumulated 68 points after finishing 32-10 overall and 22-6 in the SCIAC last spring.  The Tigers earned part of the 2016 SCIAC Championship before falling to CLU in the post-season tournament 4-1.  Chapman and Redlands, the other two teams in the 2016 SCIAC post-season tournament each earned 59 points with one first-place vote each to tie for third.

Pomona-Pitzer snagged the fifth spot in the poll with 50 points, while La Verne (40), Whittier (24), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (23) and Caltech (9) rounded out this year's coaches' poll.

Cal Lutheran finished the 2016 campaign with an overall mark of  31-13 and boasted a 22-6 record in SCIAC contests.  The Kingsmen defeated Chapman 6-5, Redlands 6-3 and Occidental 4-1 to earn the SCIAC's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. CLU suffered a 4-3 setback in its first NCAA tournament contest to UT-Tyler before falling 8-6 to Pacific Lutheran to halt their NCAA run. 

The Kingsmen will lean on returning All-SCIAC first team pitcher Trey Saito who posted a 2.73 ERA in 2016 with a 9-4 record on the mound.  Occidental returns the 2016 SCIAC Athlete of the Year and First Team Preseason All-American Devon DeRaad who had an outstanding season finishing second in the nation in home runs (16), 10th in on base percentage (.541), fifth in slugging percentage (.842) and eigth in RBIs (57). 

Caltech kicked off the season splitting a double-header with La Sierra on January 29th while the first SCIAC baseball matchups are slated for the weekend of February 17-18.  The top four squads will advance to the three-day SCIAC post-season tournament to be held on campus sites May 5-7.

 

School

Points (First-place votes)

1. Cal Lutheran

73 (4)

2. Occidental

68 (1)

t3. Chapman

59 (1)

t3. Redlands

59  (1)

5. Pomona-Pitzer

50 (1)

6. La Verne

40 (1)

7. Whittier

24

8. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

23

9. Caltech

9