College baseball season opens this week, with Long Beach State expected to battle Cal State Fullerton for supremacy in the Big West Conference, Pepperdine forecast as a West Coast Conference title contender and UCLA and USC hoping for bounce-back seasons in the always-competitive Pac-12 Conference.
Here’s a look at the Los Angeles-area teams:
2016: 25-31, 12-18 in Pac-12 (10th)
Top returners: Griffin Canning, RHP, 5-8, 4 saves, 3.70 earned-run average, 2017 preseason Baseball America third-team All-American; Sean Bouchard, 1B, .295, 23 runs, 36 runs batted in.
Top newcomers: Nick Valaika,...