No. 4 Linfield Picked to Finish First in 2012 NWC Baseball Poll

School (1st) Pts. 2011 Overall 2011 NWC
Linfield College (8) 72 33-11 20-4
George Fox University
(1) 52 26-13 14-10
Pacific Lutheran University
48 19-20 13-11
Pacific University
42 21-16 14-10
University of Puget Sound
36 17-17 15-9
Whitworth University
32 20-20 13-11
Willamette University
25 22-17 12-12
Whitman College
19 5-30 4-20
Lewis & Clark College
8 5-32 3-21

(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches cannot vote for their own team.)

Seattle, Wash. - Linfield College, currently ranked No. 4 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association/ preseason poll, is a strong favorite to become the Northwest Conference champions, according to the preseason poll of NWC coaches.

The Wildcats received eight out of nine first place votes and a total of 72 points in the poll.  The 2011 NWC Coach of the Year, Scott Brosius, welcomes back five First Team All-NWC recipients from a year ago.  These recipients include the 2010 NWC Pitcher of the Year senior Ryan Larson and senior pitcher Robert Vaughn on the mound, senior Kevin Allan at shortstop, and sophomores Clayton Truex and Tim Wilson as designated hitter and utility player.

George Fox University acquired the other first place vote and 52 points total in the preseason poll.  All-NWC starting pitcher senior Brian Ranta will lead from the mound. 

Pacific Lutheran University is third in the poll with 48 points followed by Pacific University with 42 points. All-NWC first baseman senior Brock Gates and All-NWC outfielder sophomore Jacob Hoffman will lead the Lutes.  The Boxers will be led by the 2011 Pitcher of the Year in junior Rob Dittrick and senior infielder Nate Rasmussen.

The University of Puget Sound rounds out the top five in the poll with 36 points.  UPS will look to Second Team All-NWC senior infielder selections Andrew Grady and Matt Cox as well as Second Team All-NWC junior pitcher Matt Robinson for guidance.

Whitworth University is number six in the poll with 32 points followed by Willamette University with 25 points.  The Pirates will be lead by All-NWC senior third baseman Landon Scott while the Bearcats will be led by sophomore Second Team All-NWC honorees first baseman Brandon Chinn and pitcher Brandon Simon.

Whitman College was eighth with 19 points, while Lewis & Clark was ninth with 8 points.

The first weekend of NWC games is scheduled for March 3-4.