#38 Long Beach State Baseball 2018 Preview

Long Beach State 49ers
Overall Rank: #38
Conference Rank: #2 Big West
Long Beach State Logo
For the third time in the last four seasons, Long Beach State reached the NCAA Tournament. But this time they had a little more success. After failing to advance past the Regional Finals the last two times out, the 49ers made the Super Regionals for the first time since 2004. It took five games for Long Beach State to advance out of their regional and that may have affected their Super Regional series against Cal State Fullerton. After winning 3-0 and losing 12-0, the Dirtbags lost a 2-1 heartbreaker with a trip to the College World Series on the line.
2017: 42-20-1, 20-4
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Troy Buckley
Key Departed Players:
Ramsey Romano, IF, .313 BA, 2 HR, 39 RBI
Lucas Tancas, IF/OF, .304 BA, 9 HR, 37 RBI
David Banuelos, C, .289 BA, 7 HR, 29 RBI
Daniel Jackson, 1B/C, .277 BA, 4 HR, 33 RBI
Brock Lundquist, OF, .277 BA, 4 HR, 26 RBI
Dave Smith, P, 2.07 ERA, 91.1 IP, 41 SO
Darren McCaughan, P, 2.50 ERA, 122.1 IP, 104 SO
Key Returning Players:
Jarren Duran, IF, .308 BA, 0 HR, 27 RBI, 19 SB
Laine Huffman, IF, .294 BA, 2 HR, 26 RBI
Luke Rasmussen, 1B/OF. .246 BA, 1 HR, 33 RBI
John Sheaks, P, 4.09 ERA, 88.0 IP. 55 SO
Chris Rivera, P, 2.60 ERA, 34.2 IP, 47 SO, 13 SV
LBSU will struggle to replicate their success from last season, but do not expect them to fall too far down the Big West pecking order. Losing Dave Smith and Darren McCaughan will hurt the rotation. However, John Sheaks is back after starting 17 games last season. He was not as productive as Smith or McCaughan, but is an experienced senior. Coach Troy Buckley will have to rely on inexperienced, but talented, players to fill in much of the rotation. The story is the same in the lineup where many of the top hitters from 2017 are gone. Laine Huffman highlights the group of returners after batting .294 with two homeruns and 26 RBIs as a junior. Jarren Duran can get on base consistently and led the squad with 19 stolen bases. Despite all of the departures, Long Beach State has gotten back to their winning ways and they will not be going anywhere anytime soon. A trip to the CWS appears to be asking too much, but this team should return to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament