Eagles motivated by preseason poll prediction


Cal State LA pitcher Owen Hunt delivers a pitch. Photo by Robert Husky.

The Golden Eagles are projected to finish eighth in conference standings in the CCAA pre-season coaches poll.

Low expectations from the conference did not come as a surprise this year. The team has not finished a season with a win percentage above 59 since 2013.

However, having over 20 upperclassmen to compliment the young talent on the team has some players thinking that the Golden Eagles are a team to keep an eye on this season.

“There should be no reason why we are not a top team this year,” senior pitcher Mikell Chavez said. “When we play to our expectations, we can really shock the nation.”

In order for the Golden Eagles to meet their goals for the season, the team will need some key contributors to step up and help others play to their potential as well.

Senior pitcher Owen Hunt is one of the leaders of the team and has high expectations for the year. Last season, Hunt was one of the top pitchers in the conference with a 7-1 record on the mound. He also led the conference in earned run average and threw 78 strikeouts.

Hunt was named a player to watch in the conference this season, after being awarded first-team all CCAA last year. However, he feels no pressure and looks to have fun with his teammates.

“I am here to help the younger guys get better and enjoy the time with my team,” he said. “If you work hard and do what you have to do, results become natural.”

The Eagles ended last regular season winning nine of their 15 games, finishing the year with a sweep in the series over San Francisco State. The preseason poll was more motivation for this season.

“We know we are in a strong conference. We have worked hard this fall, and seeing the ranking is just another chip on our shoulder,” Hunt said.

So far this season, the team has a record of two wins and a loss. The Eagles are capable of scoring in bunches when they are hot, having totalled 21 runs in their first three games.

“We are moving in the right direction,” Chavez said. “If we continue working hard, we will be a great team. Never count the Eagles out!”

The Golden Eagles have an upcoming 11 game home stretch starting this week against Montana State Billings and ending with an exhibition game against Waseda University from Japan.