Briefs: 'Eaters picked second

UC Irvine finished tied for second in the Big West Conference baseball preseason coaches poll released Tuesday.

The Anteaters received 65 points, matching UC Riverside. Defending conference champion Cal State Fullerton topped the poll with 81 points.

UCI, which finished second in the Big West last season, is coming off its fifth straight postseason appearance.

Coach Mike Gillespie's squad finished 39-21, 17-7 in the Big West.

The Anteaters open the season Feb. 18 with the first of a three-game home series against Nevada.

UCI opens conference play April 1 at home against Cal State Northridge.

Senior third baseman Brian Hernandez, a first-team all-conference honoree, tops the returners for UCI, which is also bolstered by veterans Drew Hillman, Sean Madigan, Jordan Leyland and Crosby Slaught.

The bottom six spots in the poll are, in order: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (50 points), Long Beach State (47), UC Santa Barbara (36), Pacific (26), UC Davis (22) and Cal State Northridge (13).

— From staff reports


Lions' Chapman honored

Vanguard University senior Alex Chapman was named Golden State Athlete Conference Player of the Week in men's basketball after leading the Lions to a pair of conference wins.

Chapman averaged 19 points and 8.5 rebounds and he made 13 of 25 field-goal attempts (52%), to help key a 77-74 overtime win at The Master's on Saturday, as well as a 69-59 home triumph over San Diego Christian on Jan. 18.

Chapman, a 6-foot-9 forward-center, had 17 points and 10 rebounds against The Master's and sank the clinching basket with 10 seconds left in overtime.

The wins upped Vanguard's record to 5-13, 3-7 in conference play.

— From staff reports

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