Bayardi, Cook Earn High Honors

Feb. 9, 2012

Baseball Insider MW Preview

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – With less than a week until opening day 2012, several UNLV baseball players were honored in a College Baseball Insider preseason poll submitted by conference coaches ranking the top players in the league entering the season.

Brandon Bayardi was voted as one of the top three best pure hitters and biggest power threats in the conference for the second straight season and earned the title of the hitter coaches would least like to face this season. The sophomore Arizona native earned First Team All-Mountain West honors last season after batting .325 (53-for-163) with a team-high 10 home runs and 51 RBI.

Senior and 2011 Second Team All-Mountain West selection Trent Cook enters 2012 as the conference’s leading returning hitter after batting .368 (85-for-231) a year ago, earning the distinction of the toughest hitter to strike out in the MW. The Utah native ranked second on the squad in runs scored (51), doubles (14) and RBI (44) in addition to carrying a .995 fielding percentage with just three errors on the year. Cook strung together one of the nation’s longest hitting streaks a year ago at 21 games and tallied over 100 total bases on the year.

TCU was voted the team to beat in the conference after coming off their sixth straight regular season championship a year ago.

UNLV will open the season on the road, traveling to Los Angeles for a three-game weekend series with Loyola Marymount, Feb. 17-19 before taking on UC Irvine on Feb. 20.