Feb. 6, 2013
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -
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Four was LMU's lucky number when it came to the Preseason Poll and All-Conference selections, as LMU was tabbed fourth in the WCC and had a WCC-high four players named to the Preseason All-Conference team. Seniors Colton Plaia and Matt Lowenstein earned the bids offensively, while sophomore right-handers Colin Welmon and Trevor Megill were selected from the Lion pitching staff.
The University of San Diego was selected to win the 2013 West Coast Conference baseball championship. The Toreros earned six of eight possible first-place votes and 62 overall points in the poll. Last year's West Coast Conference champion, Pepperdine University, earned 53 points and picked up two first place votes in the annual survey. Gonzaga University garnered a first place vote and tallied 49 points to finish third in the poll. LMU captured 47 points to finish fourth. The University of San Francisco was selected fifth with 39 points, while BYU was tabbed sixth with 24 points. The University of Portland (19 points), Santa Clara University (16 points), and Saint Mary's College (15 points) rounded out the poll.
In all, seven of the nine WCC schools were represented on the preseason All-West Coast Conference team, led by the Lions with four selections, and Gonzaga with three. This year's Preseason All-WCC Team were All-West Coast Conference selections last year, led by 2012 Pitcher of the Year Marco Gonzales (Gonzaga) and Freshman of the Year Travis Radke (Portland).
Plaia has been named to College Baseball Daily's Top-100 Players list prior to the 2013 season and the 2013 College Sports Madness preseason second team All-Conference after finishing last year as a first team All-WCC selection. Plaia was then drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round of the 2012 draft, but elected to return to LMU for his senior season after playing for the USA Collegiate National Team last summer. Last year, he batted .326 with a team-best six homers and 38 RBI, collecting 28 runs scored and eight doubles while slugging .461. The native of Mission Viejo, Calif. hit .385 with 17 runs scored, four doubles, four homers and 26 RBI in conference play.
Lowenstein is a 2013 College Sports Madness preseason second team All-Conference selection after taking home a first team All-WCC selection last year. No stranger to WCC recognition, Lowenstein was an All-WCC honorable mention honoree as a sophomore after being named the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year en route to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Louisville Slugger and Ping!Baseball Freshman All-America selections. Lowenstein hit .293 with a WCC-best 45 walks, team-high 36 runs scored, 10 doubles, 28 RBI and three triples last year. The 45 walks were tied for ninth-most in a single season in LMU history, helping him to reach base at a .430 clip. In conference play alone, Lowenstein batted .381 with 22 runs scored, six doubles, three triples and 26 RBI en route to a .527 on-base percentage against WCC opponents.
Welmon was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team last year after posting a 7-4 record and a 3.87 ERA in 15 starts serving as LMU's Friday starter. He tossed 95.1 innings, including one complete game, and combined on a pair of shutouts. The native of Tustin, Calif. struck out 66 hitters to only 14 walks for a stellar 4.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The right-hander pitched to a 4-3 record in WCC play while notching an impressive WHIP of 1.29 and averaging 1.32 walks per nine innings for the entire 2012 season.
Megill garnered honorable mention All-WCC and All-Freshman team honors in 2012 after posting a 5-8 record and a 3.57 ERA over 15 starts and 90.2 innings of work serving as LMU's Saturday starter. The right-hander led the team in strikeouts with 82 and finished 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA over eight starts and 51.2 innings of work against WCC opponents. Overall on the year, the native of Huntington Beach, Calif. pitched to a 1.29 WHIP and 8.14 strikeouts per nine innings.
2013 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes) Points
San Diego (6)62
Loyola Marymount 47
San Francisco 39
Santa Clara 16
Saint Mary's 15
2013 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM
Player, School, Yr., Pos.
Kris Bryant, San Diego, Jr., 3B/1B
Andrew Daniel, San Diego, So., IF
Austin Davidson, Pepperdine, So., IF
Clayton Eslick, Gonzaga, Sr., INF
Turner Gill, Portland, Jr., IF/OF
Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga, Jr., IF
Greg Harisis, Santa Clara, Jr., IF/OF
Matt Lowenstein, Loyola Marymount, Sr., OF
Justin Maffei, San Francisco, Sr., OF
Colton Plaia, Loyola Marymount, Sr., C
Pitcher, School, Yr.
Abe Bobb, San Francisco, Jr., RHP
Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga, Jr., LHP
Trevor Megill, Loyola Marymount, So., RHP
Travis Radke, Portland, So., LHP
Colin Welmon, Loyola Marymount, So., RHP