SJS 2018 OOC Schedule Can Boast No Weak Opponents
I posted a version of this a while back on another site soon after the Spartans’ schedule was released. No NAIA teams (one or two games is acceptable to me) or any other lower division NCAA teams.
It would make it a whole lot easier on me if I could comment more on the makeup of the coming year’s team but the roster has not been posted that shows incoming freshmen or transfers. I guess coach doesn’t want to give any guarantees. I can only say I don’t expect a lot. Anyway, to the schedule:
The first four games of the season will be against the Bears. They are usually a bottom feeder in the WAC but made some pretty good strides last year. They are my “local” team but I’ve only seen them a few times. Just a little too far when SJS is not involved. I think they can hit a bit but pitching has been the big problem in the past. Yep, still true. They hit .278 but the team ERA was a bad 5.97. If you’re a Spartans fan it sounds too close to home, doesn’t it? No starter sniffed an ERA close to 3.00. I still think this will be series where the boys in blue will split. Thumbs sideways.
They open the season at Santa Clara and play them again later. This is a team that has gotten progressively worse the past few season and will have a new coaching staff hoping to turn things around. We’ll see about that. A local rivalry is the only thing that makes this a thumbs up.
Not to be confused with South Florida. It seems to me that the Dons should get the benefit of calling themselves USF as I THINK they’ve been around longer and have a rich history in both basketball and football (think Ollie Matson and Gino Marchetti). This is a team that could hit and pitch but still were right about .500. That never computes with me. I think the Dons will rule when the two teams play. Thumbs up.
After a number of years of success the team stumbled a bit last year. They seem to have lost all their stars (think Rhys Hoskins) and have come back to earth. I have a lot of faith in their coach and I think he’ll right the ship. A good program that the Spartans would be wise to emulate. Thumbs up.
A Pac-12 team that is hard to figure. Are they champs or just average. Last year was a small fall from grace as they were just about average after stunning the world in 2016 by winning the Pac-12 title. I think this will be a tough one for the Spartans. Thumbs up.
Not the Cal Poly of recent years last season. I have no idea if they’ll improve this year. Thumbs up. Why? See UC Riverside below.
Pretty bad in the past but a bit of an improvement last season. Thumbs sideways only because they play each other every year since God knows when.
UC Santa Barbara
Boy, they’ve gotten really good. I expect them to take all four games against SJS down in Santa Barbara. Oh, maybe I’m thinking of the year before. Last season they were eight games under .500 as the pitching just wasn’t there. Eh, maybe a split. Thumbs up.
The Highlanders were ten games under .500 and I expected more out of them, especially pitching, as a former major leaguer in Troy Percival was the man in charge. It still is talent folks and coaching can’t compensate for that. Thumbs up simply because they are a Big West team.
The Wolverines had a bad year. They could hit but the pitching was atrocious. This is only one game so maybe the Spartans have a chance. Thumbs down.
The Green are always a force in the Ivy League. They were only 22-17-1 last year which seems a bit low in total games. They were only 11-9 in conference so I guess that boils down to average. A single game at Muni. Thumbs up since they are good in the east.
The Gaels had a good team last year at 37-20 after slugging around average for so many years. Hitting and pitching were pretty good but not great and their record pretty much says that. They had a freshman AA and the WCC Freshman of the Year in Kevin Milam so going to this game to see him might be worth the price of admission. Thumbs up.
This schedule, overall, is pretty good with no real slouches. I’d still like to see teams from the east and south come into Muni for a few. I know you folks would certainly like to see Florida State and maybe a visit from Buster Posey to watch a game or two. Georgia Southern, McNeese, and the list goes on for decent teams. Never see LSU out here or anywhere else outside of Baton Rouge for OOC games. Sorry bastids.