The defending champion UCLA Baseball team has been picked to finish third in the Pac-12 Conference's preseason coaches' poll, as announced by the conference office on Thursday.
Oregon State was selected first in the preseason coaches' poll, earning 9 of 11 possible first-place votes to give the Beavers 98 points. Oregon came in second with 86 points and one first-place vote while the Bruins tallied 84 points and one first-place vote to come in third. Arizona State and Arizona rounded out the top five, being selected fourth and fifth respectively.
Stanford was picked to finish sixth, followed by California, Washington State and USC in that order. Washington and Utah were picked to finish 10th and 11th respectively.
UCLA has won the Pac-12 title in two of the last three seasons and is coming off the program’s first NCAA Championship in 2013. The Bruins have reached the postseason in seven of the last eight years and have hosted an NCAA Regional in each of the last four seasons, making UCLA one of just three schools in the nation to do so (South Carolina and Virginia). UCLA reached its third College World Series in four years in 2013 and posted a conference record of 21-9 last season, tying the school record for most wins in conference play.
The Bruins will kick off the 2014 season with a three-game series against Portland starting on Friday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The series will continue on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.
The Pac-12 preseason coaches' poll awards 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, eight points for a third-place vote and so on. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.