Surprises Never Stop In Mountain West Baseball
Fresno State drops two of three with San Jose State. How can that be? The Aztecs of San Diego State take two of three from, this year anyway, a mediocre Fullerton State. Nevada continues to get fat. This time by sweeping New Mexico. What the heck? That puts the Lobos in the cellar and moves San Jose State to rarified atmosphere. Finally, Air Force drops two of three to UNLV. Well, read on.
San Jose State (6-11) at Fresno State (8-10)
As I said in my previous post the Spartans lost the Friday game, which was to no one’s surprise. The surprises came later. The Spartans pounded Edgar Gonzalez (surprise #1) as they scored early and late winning 15-7. Shane Timmons had a career going 4 for 5 with 8 (eight!) RBIs and two home runs. I played a year of juco ball and couldn’t do that. David Campbell also let out a lot of pent up aggression going 4 for 5 also. Gonzalez gave up 8 runs in his 4 IP but the boys in blue touched just about everyone Coach threw out there. The rubber game also went the Spartans’ way but not so easily. San Jose State was down 6-5 going into the 9th but scored 5 to win 10-7. Spartans’ shortstop Aaron Pleschner went 3 for 4. Both these teams are becoming the big puzzle of the Mountain West. What’s up with the Bulldogs and why haven’t the Spartans won more? Both questions I can’t answer.
Fullerton State (17-17) at San Diego State (23-13)
The Aztecs won Friday’s game 6-3 which is a good win for the MWC. This game was close until the Aztecs scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to get a lot more comfortable. Game two was a game of crooked number innings by boy teams. Fullerton scored 3 runs in two innings and 4 in the ninth. The Aztecs scored 4 in two innings. Yeah, that’ll get you a final of 13-9 that the Titans won. Lotsa hits by lotsa players. A 6 run bottom of the third gave the Aztecs a 9-2 lead which they never relinquished in winning 9-6. The Aztecs had 6 players with 2 hits. I might also add that the game drew 1200 fans which is good for the team and the MWC. SDSU, FSU, and Nevada all draw pretty well but the others need to pick it up.
New Mexico (6-12) at Nevada (14-4)
The Wolf Pack had a season high 19 hits and won easily 15-2. Weston Hatten had 4 hits and 6 others had at least two. The two teams were tied 2-2 until the bottom of the 5th when Nevada pushed across 6 runs to make a winner out of Mark Nowaczewski (4-2). The final score of 5-2 was the close game of this series. The Lobos had only 4 hits which is not a typical showing for New Mexico but has become the norm for them this year. Unbelievable. Tyler Bosetti was 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs for the winners. Game three was another rout as Nevada scored in all but 2 innings and won easily 14-1. Mike Echavia wore himself out going 5 for 5 with 5 RBIs while Grant Fennell pitched in going 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs. Jake Jackson (6-1) pitched a little like he has in past games going 6 IP with 7 Ks for the win. Another sweep for the Wolf Pack.
Air Force (8-10) at UNLV (9-6)
The Rebels try to stay in the thick of things by taking 2 of 3 from Air Force. They won game one 6-3 but didn’t really put it away until the bottom of the 8th when they scored 2 runs for the insurance and the win. Alan Strong (6-0) is fast becoming the ace of the MWC as he goes 6 IP striking out 5 and walking only 1. Bryan Melendez got his 10th save by the way. A weird stat is that there were 8 doubles in the game. The Falcons won game two 5-1 behind the pitching of Matt Hargreaves (2-4) and Nic Ready’s 12th home run. Yes, the Falcons got other hits, too, but he’s on a tear this year and lots of other things. He’s working of first team all conference if nothing else. The Rebels won the rubber match 10-7 behind the ability to score a bit more than the Falcons. Both teams had 14 hits and walks weren’t an issue. Power was. Kyle Isbel hit his 10th homer and Nick Ames hit his 10th. Ames went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs and Isbel had 3 RBIs. The Falcons’ Jacob Booker went 4 for 4. That’s pretty good but small solace for losing.
Nevada is still pulling away as the season shortens. I still think they’d be better off by running the table so the NCAA would have no choice but to pick them even if they don’t make it to the finals of the MWC Tournament. UNLV and SDSU still like possible picks also. We have about 5 more weeks until discussions get serious.