Golden Eagles Picked To Finish Fourth In South
February 3, 2017
Filed under Sports
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Cal State L.A.’s baseball team has been picked to finish fourth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association South Division in a poll of conference coaches released by the conference on Friday.
The conference is in its second year of a two-division format. The top three teams in each division will qualify for the CCAA Championship Tournament in Stockton. Teams will play four-game series against teams within their own division and three-game series against teams outside the division during the regular season.
Cal State LA will be joined by Cal Poly Pomona, UC San Diego, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State San Marcos in the South, while Chico State, Sonoma State, Cal State Monterey Bay, Stanislaus State, San Francisco State and Cal State East Bay make up the North.
Defending conference champion Chico State was picked to win the conference, while Cal Poly Pomona was picked to win the South. Last year, Chico State qualified as the No. 6 seed and outlasted five conference foes to win its first tournament title since 2006.
The coaches predicted Chico State, Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay to earn the three tournament bids from the North and Cal Poly Pomona, UC San Diego and Cal State San Bernardino to claim the three spots from the South.
Cal State LA will open the regular season next Thursday, Feb. 2 with a home game against California Baptist at 6 p.m. The series will continue with a game at California Baptist on Friday at 6 p.m. and the series will conclude at Cal State LA’s Reeder Field with a game on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Golden Eagles will also host a four-game non-conference series against Northwest Nazarene beginning with a single game on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. The series will continue with a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. and conclude with a single game on Saturday, Feb. 11 at noon.
Cal State LA will open conference play with home games against Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, Feb. 24 with games set for 6 p.m. starts.
Cal State LA has 17 players returning from last year’s squad, including all-conference outfielder Nathan Navarrete and all-conference reliever Gabriel Gentner. Navarrete led the team with 31 runs scored and had a .269 average with three home runs and 19 RBI. Gentner led the team in appearances with 21, 20 of them in relief, and had all seven of the Golden Eagles’ saves. He had 29 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched and was spectacular at the end of the season as the Golden Eagles made a late postseason push.
Christian Broussard, Jr., who led the team with a .301 batting average and also picked up three wins as a starting pitcher and Ryan Dixon, who hit .311 and also made nine relief appearances as a pitcher, also return. Infielders Angel Sanchez, who started 46 of the team’s 47 games, and Isaac Dominguez, who started all 45 games that he appeared in, are also back.