Fresno State OOC Schedule for 2018
First, I want you all to notice that 14 of the games are 3 or 4 game series that are at home. That’s pretty sweet and I have no idea how the Bulldogs managed that. That’s a total of 21 games at home for the OOC portion of the schedule. Not bad, but the fans do come to the games. Not the usual 400 or so but around 2000 or so. So there’s money involved. Still, a pretty sweet home schedule.
Michigan State – 4 at home
The “other” Spartans were an ok 29-23 last season which didn’t warrant them any post-season play. They could hit (.290) with pop (47 HR’s) and their pitching was pretty decent also (3.79) which gives me reason to wonder why they were only six games over .500. Think about it; they could hit with power and pitching did their part and they still lost 23 games? Hmm. Sophomore Bryce Kelley was a freshman AA last year so they have some youth. I didn’t look too deeply so maybe it was a very young team. I looked at their stats and it looks like they had one good starting pitcher with the rest of the weekend rotation being a grab bag. Maybe that’s the reason. Thumbs sideways.
UC Santa Barbara – 2 split
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.
Houston Baptist – 4 at home
The Huskies? Really? So many teams have this as their mascot and none make any sense to me. The Dons of San Francisco reflects some history. Texas Longhorns. Well, duh. Oh, Donnie, you’ve had your say. A Southland member that went 29-25 in 2017. That ain’t bad considering it wasn’t too long ago when this team was one of the worst in the US. Big improvement. Hitting was ok at .273 and the same for pitching at 4.09. So there you have it. Thumbs sideways.
San Francisco – 2 split
Speaking of San Francisco, here they are in the schedule. Not to be confused with South Florida; the other USF. 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 or Bill Russell for basketball fans). This is a team that could hit and pitch but still were right about .500. That never computes with me. Thumbs up.
Saint Mary’s – 2 split
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.
Pepperdine – 2 split
The Waves were only 20-32 in 2017 and this is only one home game. I expect them to be much better this coming season as they usually are good competition. Couldn’t hit much last year (.246) and pitching was marginal (4.30). If you have one game to watch go to Malibu because it’s drop dead gorgeous. Thumbs sideways.
UC Riverside – 1 at home
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.
Long Beach – 3 at home
The Dirtbags. Yeah, the Dirtbags. Not a bad name if you ask me and thoroughly unique. They play pretty good, too. They were 42-20 last season as a member of the Big West. They were a good 20-4 in the Big West which is a dang tough baseball conference. They hit an ok .270 but the pitching was gorgeous at 3.07 which will produce wins most anywhere. It produced wins in a Regional (their own) and a Super Regional (again their own) but they lost out to conference mate Fullerton State. They got good pitching in 9 of the 10 games in the NCAA Tournament. They will be led by second team AA David Banuelos (C). This is a good team. Thumbs up.
CSU Northridge – 3 split
Northridge was an average 26-29 in 2017. Both hitting (.261) and pitching (5.15) were subpar and that’s how you end up this way. Thumbs down.
Hawaii – 3 at home
The Rainbows were a bit over .500 at 28-23 last year but a good portion of those losses were in-conference. The Big West is tough. The Bows had a mediocre offense at .265 with only one .300 hitter but the pitching was outstanding at 3.58. Anything under 4.00 in college ball is good. They had a freshman AA in reliever Dylan Thomas who was FOY in the Big West and another freshman AA in Adam Fogel. This should be a good series. Thumbs up.
I’m a little surprised the mutts don’t take on Sacramento State, Pacific, or Bakersfield in any games. You know, neighborhood rivals and all that. Nor do they schedule any Pac 12 teams. No big deal as their schedule looks pretty good. Long Beach is the best of a good bunch with Michigan State a bit of a mystery.