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Big West Conference 2024 Season Preview

By Patrick Moen

Cal Poly (2023: 21-35, 11-19 BWC)

Feb. 16-19: vs. Missouri (30-24, 10-20 SEC)

The Mustangs will look to get their 2024 season off on the right foot with a big series win over a cellar dweller SEC program since 2020, but an SEC program nonetheless. Poly needs a strong start and a tone setter to get back to the top of the Big West standings, as they were the two years prior to their disappointing 2023 season.


Cal State Bakersfield (2023: 18-34, 9-21 BWC)

Feb. 16: Minnesota (18-34, 10-14 Big 10)

Feb. 17: New Mexico (26-25, 13-17 Mountain West)

Feb. 18: Oregon State (41-20, 18-12 PAC 12)

Feb. 19: New Mexico

The Roadrunners open their 2024 campaign with a series of games against several opponents in the College Baseball Classic in Surprise, AZ. Their toughest test will come in the form of a unanimous The Weekend Rotation Omaha 8 pick, the Oregon State Beavers. They’ll see the Beavers once on Sunday, along with the opening game against Minnesota and two against the New Mexico Lobos, both teams that struggled mightily in the 2023 season and are looking for strong starts in 2024.

Cal State Fullerton (2023: 32-24, 20-10 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: at Stanford (44-20, 23-7 PAC 12)

Two storied California programs meet on the first weekend of the season, with two very different outlooks to their respective seasons. Stanford, coming off back-to-back trips to Omaha faces a season full of new faces in new places, as they look to answer a slurry of unknowns surrounding the Cardinal program. Meanwhile, Fullerton is looking for revenge after the Cardinal brought their season to an end in the Palo Alto regional on the very Sunken Diamond where they’ll be playing this weekend. Can Fullerton avenge the loss and set themselves up for a return trip to the postseason?

WATCH: Pac-12

Cal State Northridge (2023: 34-17, 20-10 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: vs. Utah Valley (34-24, 16-12 WAC)

CSUN is coming off their fourth straight winning season and looking to break through into the postseason for the first time since 2002, coming up just short in 2023 due to a head to head tie-breaker last year with Fullerton. Utah Valley themselves also came up one game short after losing back-to-back games in the WAC Championship to Sam Houston. This shapes up to be a good series for both teams to measure themselves against each other, heading into a year where both teams hope to end postseason droughts.

WATCH: ESPN+ (Fri. Sun. only)

UC Davis (2023: 17-37, 7-23 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: vs. Seattle U (21-32, 17-13 WAC)

Following a disappointing season that led to a second-to-last place finish in the Big West, the Aggies host the Redhawks from Seattle U and will look to use a string of home games to open their season. They're looking to reverse their fortunes and set themselves up for a building block season that future Aggies teams will look to finish off and return to the NCAA Regionals.

WATCH: ESPN+ (Sun. only)

UC Irvine (2023: 38-17, 19-11 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: North Dakota State (23-30, 16-7 Summit League)

Just two seasons removed from being only nine innings away from a Super Regional, the UC Irvine Anteaters are poised to make a run for the Big West crown and a shot at finally breaking through into the round of 16. An opening weekend series against NDSU is just what the doctor ordered. A series against a team that had an overall losing record despite being nine games over .500 in conference can only help your RPI go higher and higher as the season progresses.


UC Riverside (2023: 11-41, 5-25 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: vs. Nevada (20-33, 10-20 Mountain West)

The Highlanders will hope that 2024 is the season in which they find themselves outside of the bottom two of the Big West conference for the first time since 2017 (excluding the COVID shortened 2020 season). They open the season with a series against Mountain West squad, the Nevada Wolfpack. This is a series for which I will commend you if you are able to listen to all 27 innings (hopefully that’s all there is). And, if you do, please keep me updated with top performers throughout the series, you sicko!

LISTEN: Team Sites: UCR | UNR

UC San Diego (2023: 34-18, 21-9 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: San Jose State (31-27, 18-11 Mountain West)

In another example of the worst rule in collegiate athletics, the reigning Big West champs return to play after not playing in the postseason because of the four-year-reclassification period. In just their third year in the Big West, the Tritons claimed their first league title but were forced to cede their regional invitation unwillingly to Cal State Fullerton. The Tritons have a chance to pretend it's still the 2023 postseason, as they take on the SJSU Spartans who represented the Mountain West in the Palo Alto regional, where UCSD would’ve landed if not for the NCAA red tape.


UC Santa Barbara (2023: 35-20, 18-12 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: at Campbell (46-15, 22-5 Big South)

A UCSB team that is garnering national recognition, in large part due to their deep stable of arms on the bump, opens their season in North Carolina with a weekend matchup against another strong mid-major squad for the 2024 season in the Campbell Camels. I’ll have my eyes on this series as one of these teams could sneak their way into hosting a regional come May if everything goes to plan.

WATCH: FloBaseball (Fri. Sat. only)

Hawaii (2023: 29-20, 18-12 BWC)

Feb. 16-18 vs. Ole Miss (25-29, 6-24 SEC)

The Warriors from Hawaii are looking to build off two positive seasons, posting 28 and 29 wins respectively in 2022 and 2023, and they have a chance to make a real splash taking on an SEC opponent, welcoming the Rebels to the oasis that is Honolulu. A four-game set (Saturday DH) against Ole Miss is a once-in-a-season opportunity to boost the ever-important RPI for a squad that is looking to push past the middle of the standings and make a run at a Big West title.


Long Beach State (2023: 33-22, 17-13 BWC)

Feb. 16-18: vs. Washington (35-20, 17-12 PAC 12)

After posting consecutive seasons with 17 conference wins, Long Beach State certainly has its sights set on 20 this year, which would position them well for a run at the postseason, with UCSD still being ineligible. The Dirtbags open their season hosting a UW team that played well above their expectations last season and came two wins away from potentially hosting a Super Regional against a conference rival. If this Washington team can play to the same level as last year, this could prove to be a strong chance for LBSU to put the rest of the Big West on notice.

WATCH: ESPN+ (Fri. Sun. only)


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