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Rainbows picked to finish third in final WAC baseball season

By Billy Hull

LAST UPDATED: 3:59 p.m. HST, Feb 8, 2012

The Hawaii baseball team is picked to finish third in its final season in the Western Athletic Conference according to a vote by the league's seven head coaches.

Defending WAC tournament champion Fresno State received four first-place votes to edge out San Jose State for the top spot in the poll.

The Spartans are second, followed by UH. Nevada and New Mexico State are tied for fourth and Louisiana Tech and Sacramento State round out the poll.

UH placed four players on the preseason All-WAC team, including senior right-hander Matt Sisto and third baseman Collin Bennett.

Sisto went 5-5 with a 3.67 ERA as a junior and was named to the All-WAC tournament team after throwing seven shutout innings in a win over San Jose State.

Bennett hit .292 in 47 games as a junior, driving in 20 runs

Juniors Breland Almadova and Pi'ikea Kitamura were also named to the team.

Almadova started 50 of 52 games last year, hitting .298 with 54 runs and 16 doubles and tied for third in the WAC with 16 stolen bases.

Kitamura was named to the All-WAC tournament team in 2011 after driving in six runs in three games.

New Mexico State's Zac Fisher is the preseason player of the year and San Jose State junior Zack Jones was tabbed as the pitcher of the year.

The Aggies led the way with five players picked to the all-WAC team, followed by UH's four. San Jose State and Fresno State were each represented by two players and Nevada and Sacramento State had one apiece.

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