Nevada 2018 OOC Schedule
Only recently posted the Wolf Pack starts off with a tough series on the road in Irvine and ends up being on the road for a total of 12 games until the meet San Jose State for a conference series in early March. Ah, life in the cold lane.
UC Irvine – 3 on the road
The Anteaters of 2017 suffered a year unlike other years. They hit .274 (ok) and pitched 5.35 (not ok) which resulted in a 23-33 record. Again, not like them – at all. I figure this season to be more like them; a winning year. Thumbs up.
Fullerton – 1 on the road
The Titans. I remember when they played football and gave it up to concentrate the money on baseball and basketball. I’d have to say they are a baseball school. So much so that they are considered one of the toughest teams in the west. That’s every year not just once in awhile. They were an unremarkable (for them) 39-24 last season but they made it to the CWS which is a huge accomplishment for any team. They didn’t win it but they were there to soak it all in. They didn’t hit much (.267 with 46 HR’s) and pitching was a bit better than ok at 3.64. AA closer Brett Conine will be back to build on his 12 saves in 2017 as will frosh AA Sahid Valenzuela (INF). A series to watch. Thumbs up.
Oral Roberts – 3 on the road
These guys were good in 2017; 43-16 and 25-4 in the Summit Conference which was good enough to get them into an NCAA regional. They went 1-2 losing both games to Arkansas in close game. They hit well (.293) with an astounding 70 home runs. Pitching was excellent at 3.06. Yeah, they had it all. Wow, those home runs are hard to ignore. Thumbs up.
Santa Clara – 2 split
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. Thumbs down and I’m hoping they can turn things around.
Pacific – 2 split
Pretty bad in the past but a bit of an improvement last season. They were 18-35 last season and the record suggests they might have had troubles hitting and pitching. They did; .253 and 5.59 respectively. Freshman AA catcher James Free will be a player to watch. Thumbs down.
Sacramento State – 2 split
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. The team was 32-29 in 2017 which was ok but one of the ugly beauties of conference tournaments is the winner gets the automatic bid to a regional. Guess which team pulled that surprise? Yup, the Hornets and then lost both of the regional games. I won’t even step up on that soap box. Parker Brahms was a freshman AA last season and was a starter in the rotation. Thumbs up.
UC Riverside – 3 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.
San Francisco – 2 split
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. Thumbs up.
Oregon State – 2 on the road
OSU was the best team in college baseball last year even though they didn’t win the NCAA Tournament. Their pitching was off the charts in a good way (1.93) and I expect ditto this coming season. Hitting carried the load on their side by hitting .291. So, how might they be this season? Jake Mulholland was a freshman AA and was nails out of the pen. Third team AA 2B Nick Madrigal returns after hitting .377 as a sophomore. A returning first team AA pitcher is Luke Heimlich was one of the top pitchers in college baseball last year but has a cloud hanging over his head. You can Google his name if you choose but I’m not going into details. He was projected as a top first round pick in the MLB draft but went undrafted. I don’t know what his status is at this point but I hope that this all gets cleared up. If he returns (I think doubtful), he will again be one of the top pitchers in baseball. 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.
Nebraska – 3 on the road
The Huskers were a respectable 35-22 last year. They hit (.281) and pitched (3.73) well enough to get them into a regional. They went 0-2 in the Corvallis regional against Yale and Holy Cross which was a bit of a surprise. Thumbs up.
Pretty good schedule. Three tournament teams. Oregon State, Oral Roberts, and Nebraska are the best match ups but there are few to quibble with. I always like to watch the high profile players as they warrant the attention. I remember watching Hawaii’s Kolten Wong when they played San Jose State. He hit a double that hurt my ears he hit it so hard. That alone convinced me he was worth a first round pick and I already knew he was plenty good. Try it sometime.