Sports

College baseball preview: A brief look at Southland teams

College baseball in Southland: A quick look at USC, UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine, UC Irvine and more

College baseball on deck

An around-the-horn look at the Southland's major college baseball programs;

Cal State Fullerton

Coach: Rick Vanderhook, 4th season.

2014: 34-24; 14-10 (4th) in Big West Conference.

Top returners: Thomas Eshelman, Jr. RHP, 8-3, 1.89 ERA, 123 2/3 IP, 99K; Justin Garza, Jr. RHP, 5-4, 3.22 ERA, 72 2/3 IP, 60 K.

Top newcomer: Tristan Hildebrandt, Fr. INF., Anaheim Esperanza HS.

Opener: Friday, at South Florida, 4 p.m.

Home opener: Tuesday, vs. USC, 6 p.m.

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Cal State Northridge

Coach: Greg Moore, 2nd season.

2014: 18-38; 6-18 (T-8th) in Big West.

Top returners: Chester Pak, Sr. OF, .292, 10 doubles, 28 RBIs; Jerry Keel, Sr. LHP, 3.64 ERA, 94 IP, 72 K.

Top newcomer: Yusuke Akitoshi, Jr. SS, Skagit Valley (Wash.) College.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Utah Valley, 2 p.m.

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Long Beach State

Coach: Troy Buckley, 4th season.

2014: 34-26; 17-7 (2nd) in Big West.

Top returners: Garrett Hampson, So. SS, .308, 13 doubles, 19 RBIs; Ty Provencher, Jr. RHP, 7-1, 2.33 ERA.

Top newcomer: Chris Mathewson, Fr. RHP, Fontana Kaiser HS.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Michigan, 6 p.m.

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Loyola Marymount

Coach: Jason Gill, 7th season.

2014: 32-24; 17-10 (T-2nd) in West Coast Conference.

Top returners: David Fletcher, So. SS, .329, 28 RBIs, 17 SB; Colin Welmon, Sr. RHP, 10-2, 2.37.

Top newcomer: Tylor Megill, Fr. RHP, Los Alamitos High.

Opener: Friday, home vs. San Jose State, 6 p.m.

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Pepperdine

Coach: Steve Rodriguez, 12th season.

2014: 43-17; 18-9 (1st) in West Coast Conference.

Top returners: Aaron Barnett, So. C, .359, 5 doubles, 27 RBIs; Hutton Moyer, Jr. 2B, .306, 24 doubles, 22 RBIs.

Top newcomer: Josh Davis, Fr. OF, Tulsa (Okla.) Union HS.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Tulane, 2 p.m.

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UC Irvine

Coach: Mike Gillespie, 8th season.

2014: 41-25; 15-9 (3rd) in Big West.

Top returners: Sam Moore, Sr. P, 32 G, 23 SV; 43 2/3 IP, 39 K; Jerry McClanahan, Sr. C, .304, 5 doubles, 36 RBIs.

Top newcomer: Michael Martin, So. RHP, San Diego Cathedral HS.

Opener: Friday, at Fresno State, 6:30 p.m.

Home opener: Feb. 27 vs. Tennessee, 6:30 p.m.

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UC Riverside

Coach: Troy Percival, first season.

2014: 26-28; 12-12 (T-5th) in Big West.

Top returners: Thomas Walker, Sr. OF, .328, 15 doubles, 27 RBIs; Joe Chavez, Sr. INF, .281, 45 R, 22 SB.

Top newcomer: Casey Henderson, Fr. INF., San Diego Rancho Bernardo HS.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Portland, 6 p.m.

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UC Santa Barbara

Coach: Andrew Checketts, 4th season.

2014: 34-17-1; 12-12 (T-5th) in Big West.

Top returners: Dillon Tate, Jr. RHP, 2-1, 1.45 ERA, 12 SV; 43 1/3 IP, 46 K; Robby Nesovic, Jr. 3B, .325, 15 doubles, 33 RBIs.

Top newcomer: James Carter, Jr. RHP, Chabot College.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Brigham Young, 2 p.m.

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UCLA

Coach: John Savage, 11th season.

2014: 25-30-1; 12-18 (9th) in Pac-12.

Top returners: James Kaprielian, Jr. RHP, 2.29 ERA, 106 IP, 108K; David Berg, Sr. RHP, 31 G, 11 SV, 1.50 ERA.

Top newcomer: Nick Valaika, Fr. 2B, Newhall Hart HS.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Hofstra, 6 p.m.

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USC

Coach: Dan Hubbs, 3rd season.

2014: 29-24; 16-14 (T-5th) in Pac-12.

Top returners: Jeremy Martinez, So. C/DH, .297, 10 doubles, 29 RBIs; Garrett Stubbs, Sr. C/OF, .287, 18 RBIs.

Top newcomer: Mitch Hart, Fr. RHP, Granite Bay (Calif.) High.

Opener: Friday, home vs. Towson, 6 p.m.

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