January 29, 2020 - 11:08 pm
UNLV was picked to tie for third place in preseason polling of the nine Mountain West softball coaches.
San Jose State was the top choice with 53 points, followed by San Diego State (50), UNLV (45) and Colorado State (45).
The Rebels, who went 36-14 in 2019, return all three starting pitchers from a staff that posted the program’s lowest ERA (2.39) since 2005. Also back are five full-time starting batters, four of whom hit better than .300 last season.
The rest of the poll had Fresno State fifth with 44 points, followed by Boise State (41), UNR (23), Utah State (15) and New Mexico (eight).
UNLV’s 36 wins last season were its most since 2007. The Rebels open the 2020 season Feb. 7 with the Rebel Kickoff at Eller Media Stadium.
Former Rebels shortstop Bryson Stott was No. 87 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list for 2020. The Desert Oasis product, who was picked 14th overall by Philadelphia in last year’s draft, batted .295 across two levels in his first professional season.
Stott had 49 hits in 48 games with the Phillies East (Gulf Coast League) and Williamsport Crosscutters (New York-Penn League), with nine doubles, three triples, six home runs and 24 walks. He had a .494 slugging percentage and a .391 on-base percentage.
Also, Stott was named the Phillies’ minor league defender of the month for July and was chosen for the NYPL’s All-Star Game in August.
Philadelphia had two other players ranked among the top 100: corner infielder Alec Bohm at No. 30 and right-hander Spencer Howard at No. 34.