The Cal Poly baseball team was picked to finish fifth among eight teams in the Big West Conference preseason coaches poll released Tuesday.

The Mustangs, who were 29-27 overall and 10-11 in the Big West last year, received 31 points.

Cal State Fullerton took first with seven first-place votes and 63 total points, followed by UC?Riverside (50), UC?Irvine (48) – which got one first-place vote, Long Beach State (43), Cal Poly, UC?Santa Barbara (23), Pacific (22)?and Cal State Northridge (8).

Cal State Fullerton has won the last three Big West titles and is ranked No. 12 in the nation to begin the season by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and No. 15 by Baseball America.

Cal Poly returns a conference-high 21 letterwinners from last year, including All-Big West honorable mention pick Grant Desme.

Desme, a junior infielder, hit .287 with eight home runs and 33 RBI last year.

Cal Poly opens the season at the University of San Diego on Jan. 26.

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