(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
ARLINGTON, Texas – On Thursday afternoon, the Western Athletic Conference announced it's preseason honors and the preseason coaches' poll.
The Aggies have been picked to finish seventh ahead of the season, trailing a three-way tie between Abilene Christian, UTRGV, and Sacramento State.
Logan Gallina and Kevin Jimenez were named to the Preseason All-WAC Team.
Ahead of his final season for the Aggies, Jimenez adds his third All-WAC selection, including his second Preseason All-WAC honor (2022).
Throughout the 2022 season, Jimenez led the Aggies in hits (71), doubles (23), and walks (32).
The Nogales, Arizona native needs just 16 two-baggers to become NM State's all-time doubles leader. Jimenez also sits at No. 5 on NM State's all-time walks list and could reach the top-ten in several other categories.
Much like Jimenez, Gallina adds his third All-WAC selection to kick off the 2023 campaign. In 2022, Gallina earned both First Team All-WAC and WAC All-Defensive team honors.
Gallina led the Aggies in home runs (21), runs (50), RBI (62), total bases (142), slugging percentage (.660), and hit by pitches (8).
After a tremendous opening season, Gallina is already eyeing down the NM State home run record and should crack the top-ten by the end of the season.
Leading the charge in the preseason poll is Grand Canyon, who garnered ten of the 13 possible first place votes.
Sam Houston earned the other three first place votes with California Baptist rounding out the top three spots in the poll.
Grand Canyon and Sam Houston also boast the Preseason Players of the Year (Carlos Contreras, OF Sam Houston; Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon) and the Preseason Pitcher of the Year (Daniel Avitia, RHP, Grand Canyon).
Gallina, Jimenez, and the Aggies will begin the season on Friday, February 17 at Presley Askew Field against Bellarmine.
The series will kick off at 6:00 p.m. and continue on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with all of the games being stream on the WAC Digital Network and 91.5 FM KRUX.
|Rank||Team (1st-Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||Grand Canyon (10)||141|
|2.||Sam Houston (3)||131|
|13.||Stephen F. Austin||24|
2023 WAC Preseason Players of the Year: Carlos Contreras, Sr., OF, Sam Houston
Jacob Wilson, Jr., SS, Grand Canyon
2023 WAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Daniel Avitia, So., RHP, Grand Canyon
2023 Preseason All-WAC Team
C – Tanner Tweedt, Sr., Abilene Christian
1B – Logan Gallina, Jr., NM State
2B – Kevin Jimenez, Sr., NM State
SS – Bash Randle, Jr., Abilene Christian
SS – Jacob Wilson, Jr., Grand Canyon*
3B – Mitchel Simon, Jr., California Baptist
OF – Carlos Contreras, Sr., Sam Houston*
OF – Brandon Pimentel, Sr., UTRGV
OF – Grayson Tatrow, Sr., Abilene Christian
DH/UTL – Elijah Buries, Jr., Grand Canyon
SP – Daniel Avitia, So., RHP, Grand Canyon
SP – Connor Markl, Jr., LHP, Grand Canyon
SP – Drew Necochea, Sr., RHP, California Baptist
RP – Jack Zalasky, Sr., RHP, Sacramento State