Provo • BYU baseball coach Mike Littlewood doesn’t put a lot of stock into preseason polls, but he appreciates the recognition nevertheless.

Littlewood’s Cougars have been picked by the league’s coaches to win the West Coast Conference baseball championship. The season begins Feb. 16.

“When we were picked to finish low the last few years, I didn’t lose sleep, and I won’t get too excited knowing we have been picked to finish first this year,” Littlewood said. “We play in a league where every weekend is a battle and we are excited to get going.”

Two-time defending champion BYU went 38-21, 20-7 in WCC play and made it to the NCAA Tournament last season. It is the first time BYU has been picked No. 1 since it joined the league in 2011-12.

The Cougars received five first-place votes and 74 points to edge San Diego, which had four first-place votes and 71 points. Saint Mary’s was picked to finish third, followed by Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, San Francisco, Pepperdine, Santa Clara, Pacific and Portland.

Three BYU players made the WCC Preseason Team: second baseman Brennon Anderson, shortstop Daniel Schneeman and outfielder Keaton Kringlen. Anderson also was named Preseason Third Team All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America.