Clovis News: Sports

'Dogs baseball team ranked No. 29

Fresno State will open its 2011 baseball season ranked No. 29 in one of the nation's top polls and with a thrice-honored All-American likely starting at first base.

The Bulldogs learned of the ranking Monday when Collegiate Baseball newspaper released its preseason Division I Top 40 poll. Texas Christian is No. 1.

Also in the Top 40 are three of the Bulldogs' 2011 opponents in No. 28 San Diego, No. 31 Washington State and No. 38 Hawaii.

The Bulldogs' schedule includes eight schools among those also receiving votes: Gonzaga, Oregon State, Pepperdine, Cal Poly, Nebraska, San Jose State, Nevada and New Mexico State.

Fresno State opens its regular season Feb. 18, hosting Gonzaga at Beiden Field.

Western Athletic Conference play begins April 8 at San Jose State, with the postseason WAC tournament starting May 25 in Mesa, Ariz.

Jordan Ribera, meanwhile, added to his preseason All-America honors, earning second-team mention as a first baseman from Louisville Slugger and College Baseball Line Up. Last week, he was named to the National College Baseball Writers Association first team.

The senior from Clovis West High led the nation with 27 home runs last season and earned WAC Player of the Year honors. He hit .343 with 49 extra-base hits, a team-leading 69 RBIs and a .752 slugging percentage.