The Stanford baseball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 by the conference's coaches, the conference office announced Monday morning. The Cardinal received one first-place vote.
Coaches from the 11 conference programs voted for the 10 other Pac-12 teams. Ten points are awarded for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote and so on.
UCLA emerged as the favorite, garnering 96 points and six first-place votes. Oregon was second and Arizona State was third with two first-place selections apiece.
Defending conference champion Oregon State fell to fifth after the departure of their top pitchers and Pac-12 Player of the Year Michael Conforto. Washington, which finished second last season, dropped to ninth in the poll.
Stanford looks poised for another stellar season behind the return of 100 percent of its starting pitching, including Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Cal Quantrill and 10-game winner John Hochstatter. The Cardinal returns nearly 90 percent of its total innings from last season, which ended in the Nashville Super Regional.
Head coach Mark Marquess, in his 39th season at the helm of the Cardinal, has guided Stanford to three Super Regionals in the past four seasons. Only four other schools (Virginia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Florida State) have matched that feat and none from the West Coast. Stanford is tied for fourth with 10 overall Super Regional appearances since the format began in 1999.
In addition to its on-the-field success, Stanford has been at the top of the conference in All-Academic Team selections in each of the past two seasons. Stanford was one of 34 Division I baseball programs to earn the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award in 2014 and the Cardinal led the Pac-12 with a perfect APR score of 1,000.