CBU received 27 points in the coaches' poll and was the only team, other than predicted leader Dixie State, to receive any first place votes, with two. Dixie State was tabbed first with 34 total points and four first place votes. Hawai'i Pacific tallied 23 points for third. In 2011, Dixie narrowly beat out HPU for the PacWest's top spot, finishing with a 22-10 conference record to HPU's 20-12 mark.
"With any preseason poll, we've learned that it is probably based on last year's accomplishments. We know those things don't always come true," said Head Coach Gary Adcock. "We are excited to be a part of such a good group. As I research PacWest teams, I see how we are in a conference of fabulous players. We are excited about the challenge."
Rivera, a senior, pitched his first season at CBU in 2011, compiling a 9-3 campaign with a 3.28 ERA. Rivera started 12 games in his 14 appearances, including five complete games with one shutout. His season ended with 61 strikeouts in 74 innings and he tallied a season-high six strikeouts six times. Rivera was also a one-time GSAC Pitcher of the Week. Hailing from Gilbert, Ariz., Rivera played two seasons at Chandler-Gilbert CC before transferring to CBU.
"Devyn's [Rivera] stuff is eye-popping and we are glad we don't have to face him ourselves," said Adcock.
A year ago, the Lancers finished with an overall record of 46-16, and were the regular-season GSAC champions with a conference record of 26-10. CBU used a 2-1 win over Point Loma, led by Rivera's complete game, six-hit effort, to secure the top conference spot in the final game of the regular season.
Adcock named junior outfielder Matt Marnati as the hitter to look out for. Marnati finished with a .324 batting average in 2011 and was a two-time All-GSAC selection and has been a starter since his freshman season.
"He is the guy we build the lineup around and who we expect a lot from," said Adcock.
The predicted order of finish and Preseason All-PacWest team was announced on the PacWest baseball media day radio broadcast on Thursday afternoon which included interviews from every PacWest head coach, including Adcock. Host and PacWest assistant commissioner for media relations Tom Di Camillo mentioned the four recognized preseason pitchers, normally designated with two spots, was forced after a three-way tie for the second pitcher's spot, including Rivera.
The Lancers open their 2012 season with a four-game series against Cal State Los Angeles, starting at home on from Feb. 1.
"It is a great test right out of the gate," said Adcock.