COLLEGE BASEBALL PREVIEW

CAL

Coach: David Esquer, 13th season.

2011 record: 38-23.

First game: Friday vs. Pacific, 1:30 p.m.

Complete schedule and more information: CalBears.com.

SAINT MARY'S

Coach: Jedd Soto, ninth season.

2011 record: 27-28.

Outlook: The Gaels are optimistic about a breakthrough season due to the return of sluggers Patrick Wisdom (.351, eight home runs in 2011) and Troy Channing, and a strong pitching nucleus led by Mark Anderson (eight wins, three shutouts in 2011), Martin Agosta (7-6, 2.81) and Wilcox graduate Kyle Barraclough (6-5, 3.60).

First game: Friday vs. Southern Utah, 2 p.m.

Complete schedule and more information: smcgaels.com.

SAN JOSE STATE

Coach: Sam Piraro, 25th season.

2011 record: 35-26.

First game: Friday vs. USF, 2 p.m. at Blethen Field.

Complete schedule and more information: sjsuspartans.com.

SANTA CLARA

Coach: Dan O'Brien, first year.

2011 record: 17-34.

Outlook: O'Brien spent the last 14 years at UC San Diego. He has vowed, "to show respect for the tradition of the program with old-school uniforms and a get-dirty, play-hard style of baseball." Sophomore 3B Kyle DeMerritt (Bellarmine) is a key returning player.


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First game: Friday at Texas State, noon.

Complete schedule and more information: santaclarabroncos.com.

STANFORD

Coach: Mark Marquess, 36th season.

2011 record: 35-22.

First game: Friday vs. Vanderbilt, 5:30 p.m.

Complete schedule and more information: gostanford.com.

USF

Coach: Nino Giarratano, 14th season.

2011 record: 32-25.

Outlook: Giarratano has a nice group of seniors back from last year's WCC champion team, including starting pitcher Kyle Zimmer, Jordan Reimer (Piedmont) and Alex Balog (Mitty). 1B Nik Balog, Alex's brother, is a three-year starter. College of San Mateo-transfer Justin Maffei (Serra) will start in center field.

First game: Friday at San Jose State, 2 p.m.

Complete schedule and more information: usfdons.com.

-- GLENN REEVES