Defending Pac-12 champion Arizona was picked to finish third in the conference preseason baseball coaches poll.
The Wildcats received 77 votes, behind Stanford (98) and Oregon State (84) and just ahead of UCLA (75). Stanford received eight first-place votes, Oregon State received one and UCLA received the other two.
Arizona is under the direction of new head coach Chip Hale. The Wildcats are led offensively by All-American catcher Daniel Susac and return several key pitchers from last year’s College World Series team.
The UA’s third-place preseason Pac-12 ranking might be perceived as a slight by some, considering Arizona is ranked above Oregon State in the D1Baseball and the USA Today coaches poll rankings.
Arizona has the advantage of hosting both Stanford and Oregon State at home this season.
For the first time, the Pac-12 champion won’t be decided by regular season league record. The Pac-12 is hosting its inaugural conference tournament in Scottsdale from May 25-29 at Scottsdale Stadium.
The UA opens the Hale era Feb. 18-20 at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas, facing Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.