View Full Version : Baseball America: 2017 CONFERENCE PREVIEWS: WEST COAST CONFERENCE

02-07-2017, 09:11 PM

West Coast Conference

Members: Brigham Young, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara.

Team to Beat: Brigham Young. For the first time in WCC history, there was a three-way tie for the conference crown in 2016. Unfortunately for the Cougars—who tied with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s with an 18-9 conference record—BYU was on the outside looking in for an NCAA regional, while both the Zags and the Gaels earned bids. Looking for its first regional appearance since 2002, BYU should be in the thick of the race yet again. The Cougars return 22 lettermen with the bulk of their starting lineup intact. They’ll be led offensively by powerful junior first baseman Colton Shaver (.335/.452/.582, 10 home runs), senior catcher Bronson Larsen (.301/.405/.514, eight homers) and senior DH Tanner Chauncey (.348/.373/.427). The return of talented outfielder Kyle Dean, who played in just 16 games as a freshman last year due to injury, adds a dynamic talent to the mix, as well. While the Cougars will miss electric Friday starter Michael Rucker, they’ll still have a veteran presence at the top of the rotation in the form of Maverik Buffo (6-2, 3.63), while redshirt senior Brady Corless and sophomore lefthander Bo Burrup project to start behind him. Junior righthander Connor Williams could be BYU’s wildcard, as he’s touched as high as 97 mph but has lacked consistency.

Other Projected Regional Team: Gonzaga. The Zags earned a share of the conference title last season and went to their second regional (first since 2009) as a member of the WCC. Gonzaga returns six members of its starting lineup, including reigning WCC player of the year Jeff Bohling (.298/.360/.522, eight homers), a redshirt senior third baseman; and junior center fielder Tyler Frost (.309/.377/.483, seven homers). The additions of junior college transfers Jake Vieth, a powerful first baseman, and Gunnar Schubert, a smooth-fielding shortstop, round out a veteran-heavy lineup. On the mound, Gonzaga will have to replace ace Brandon Bailey, a sixth-round pick last year. To do so, they will turn to steady junior righthander Eli Morgan (10-3, 3.73) and also have an intriguing freshman in righthander Casey Legumina, who can touch 93 mph and mixes in a slider and changeup...

Pitcher of the Year: Eli Morgan, rhp, Gonzaga. Morgan will anchor Gonzaga’s rotation after going 10-3, 3.73 in 111 innings for a regional team a year ago. Morgan was especially effective in conference play, going 8-0, 1.14. Featuring a four-pitch mix with a fastball that sits 88-90 mph and touches 93 mph, Morgan will be a formidable foe on Friday nights...

Baseball America Article Link (http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2017-conference-previews-west-coast-conference/#kIlOYZeph7tcJsrC.97)

02-08-2017, 09:49 AM
Thanks Terp.