Sacramento State has been picked to repeat as the Western Athletic Conference baseball champions, and senior Brennan Leitao has been named the Preseason Pitcher of the Year in a vote of the conference’s 10 coaches.
The Hornets received eight first-place votes and 80 total points. No. 2 Grand Canyon, last year’s WAC runner-up, received two first-place votes and 71 points.
Leitao is a two-time All-WAC first-team selection and a 2015 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American. Sac State’s career leader in wins, Leitao went 9-5 with a 2.15 ERA in 18 starts last season.
Four other Hornets were named to the 14-man Preseason all-WAC team: sophomore pitcher Sam Long (Del Campo High School); junior closer and Hornets career saves leader Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano); junior outfielder Nathan Lukes (Center) and senior shortstop Scott Burcham.
The Hornets (40-24 overall, 21-6 in conference) return six starting position players and all five starting pitchers from last year. They open the season Feb. 13 against Utah, the first of eight consecutive home games.
Hornets to honor former volleyball standout
Former middle blocker Tasman (Dwyer) Nicolodi will be inducted into the Sacramento State Volleyball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
The Placerville native was the 2001 Big Sky Conference MVP and a three-time all-conference selection, twice unanimously. During her career, the Hornets won four Big Sky regular-season championships and two conference tournament titles.