Mountain West Fourth Week Results
Things are starting to get a little interesting in the MWC. There are three teams that are basically tied for the lead with the rest following with losing records. UNLV appears to be the best but Nevada and SDSU are only a half game back (none in the loss column). Both the Rebels and the Aztecs are getting national attention which is pretty good for the conference. Maybe the conference will get two bids this year. That would be nice but don’t start thinking we’re the SEC. Here I go again playing the homer. Guess who leads the conference in hitting? San Jose State’s Brett Bautista at .500. Then again the top three home run hitters are from UNLV which explains a lot about how well they’re doing.
San Jose State (9-13) at UC Santa Barbara (9-11-1)
Two struggling teams playing each other in this OOC series and San Jose State gets swept. I thought maybe pitching might be coming around and it didn’t. Josh Goldberg couldn’t duplicate his great complete game win of last week in a 9-2 loss. In fact, this frustrating series went south in many way. Pitching was its usual bad self and the hitting didn’t do a whole lot either. Looking at the season stats shows three good hitters and the rest being mediocre or less. Pitching? Well, hmm. The middle game was a 4-3 loss and was a heartbreaker I understand. The other two weren’t games as they lost those by 9-2 and 11-1. I’m not going into highlights as there weren’t any. Ah, well, I must give a shout out to Chris Williams and Ruben Ibarra as each had 3 hits in one of the two losses.
San Diego State (6-2) at UNLV (6-3)
Weird series, this. A well pitched game in the first one as UNLV wins 4-3 but then gets pummeled in the next two by 17-8 and 22-7. Pollsters will look at the final two games of the series and might think twice about giving the Rebels a vote of confidence. A run in the bottom of the 8th was the winner in game one which was an expected close and tight one. Chase Calabuig went 3 for 4 in a losing effort and Max Smith went 4 for 4 for the Rebels. Game two was a rout as SDSU scored in all but one inning in winning 17-8. Chad Bible went 4 for 6 with 4 RBIs and Jordan Verdon went 3 for 6 with 3 RBIs. They both had a home run. Dillon Johnson led the way for the Rebels going 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs. In the 22-7 game the Rebels’ Nick Ames went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs and 2 home runs but it wasn’t nearly enough as, again, the Aztecs poured on the offense. Chase Calabuig, Julian Escobedo, and David Hensley all had 3 hits with Calabuig having 4 RBIs. These guys weren’t the story; Jordan Verdon was a one man wrecking crew as he went 5 for 7 with 6 RBIs and a home run. Hell of a day. Not a clean game as the pitching didn’t show up and there were 5 errors total. Here’s a news item; a total of 13 home runs in this series. That’s a season for most college teams.
Nevada (7-2) at Fresno State (4-8)
Nevada took 2 of 3 from the Bulldogs and with that moves into first place a half game ahead of SDSU. Whoda thunk. Then again, I thought the Wolf Pack might be a power to be reckoned with this season. A lot to go yet. Mark Nowaczewski (3-2) went 7+ IP to get the win as he was never in much trouble giving up only 1 run. Mike Echavia went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs which proved the difference maker. Game two was a back and forth affair as the Pack took a 4-3 lead with 4 runs in the top of the fifth but lost 5-4 when JT Arruda homered to score the go ahead and eventual winning run in the 7th. Nevada’s Dillan Shrum had a bases loaded double for the Pack for the big hit. Edgar Gonzalez (4-1) went 7 IP with 8 strike outs for the win. Game three was a laugher. The Wolf Pack scored 9 runs in their half of the first and led 16-1 at the end of 2 1/2. Need I say more? I’m wondering how FSU fans are feeling. They demand a lot and might be feeling they aren’t getting their money’s worth. I ain’t sayin’ nuthin’ here except fans can be fickle. Coach Batesole threw out 11 pitchers in this game and none distinguished themselves in this game. The winners? Joshua Zamora went 3 for 6 with 5 RBIs and a home run. Dillan Shrum and Weston Hatten both had 3 hits and 4 others had 2 each. Nevada’s young phenom Jake Jackson (5-0) got the win with 7 IP but got touched (not torched) for 4 earned runs to finally get an ERA of some repute. I’m thinking Nevada may be for real.
Air Force (3-6) at New Mexico (4-5)
Air Force won the first game 10-4 behind the strength of 17 hits and Nick Biancalana’s (1-1) excellent 5+ IP of relief. He gave up no runs on only 3 hits and deserved the win. Seven Falcons had at least 2 hits with Ryan Robb getting 3 hits and Rob Dau getting 3 RBIs. The second game was close but not close to being a pitching duel as the Lobos evened the series with a run in the bottom of the 10th to win 12-11. The Falcons’ pitching reverted to form in this one and that ain’t good. Six more Falcons had 2 hits with Colby Brown having 4 RBIs and Tyler Ward 3. Danny Collier went 4 for 5 with 3 RBIs and the winning home run and Jared Mang had 3 hits and 3 RBIs and a home run. The home town Lobos took the series in winning the rubber match 7-4 behind Cody Dye’s (2-3) 7 IP and 8 strike outs. The Lobos’ Justin Watari went 3 for 4 to lead the team.
This coming weekend is Easter weekend which means no Sunday game and all games will move up a day starting on Thursday. You’ve been alerted. For those of you who care about such things, I’m planning on being at the Saturday game between Air Force and the Spartans. The two teams with the worst pitching. It could get ugly.