Final Weekend In The Mountain West Baseball Season
Wouldn’t you know. The final three games of the season and it all boils down to Nevada and San Diego State facing off for bragging rights. These two teams have been fighting for the top spot all season and Nevada has been at the top just about the whole time fighting off all pretenders. It’s now down to this.
San Diego State (18-10) at Nevada (18-9)
This situation is almost too sweaty to talk about but I’ll find the strength. The Aztecs took the first game in this crucial series 12-7 with 5 runs in the last 2 innings to finish off the Wolf Pack. They had trailed 7-3 but scored 4 in the top of the 6th to tie it and 4 more in the 8th to go ahead. Jordan Verdon hit a grand slam in the 6th to tie the game. Jacob Maekawa’s 2 RBI single in the 8th made the score 11-7. Those were the two big hits. Chad Bible and Dean Nevarez both had 3 hits for the victors. Adrian Mardueno (7-1) won in relief (7 wins? In relief?) and the pen did an excellent job as they gave up zero runs in the last 4 innings. Nevada had its share of stars also as Dillan Shrum went 4 for 4 with a dinger but it wasn’t enough. That Aztec win puts the San Diego State team only 1/2 game behind (loss side) with only two to play. The season could be decided tonight (Friday) if Nevada wins as that would put them up 1.5 games with 1 to play. Then again, not necessarily. Stay tuned.
UNLV (13-15) at Fresno State (12-16)
Fresno State is living on borrowed time as is UNLV. They both need to win and the Bulldogs won the first game pretty easily 6-1 behind the strong arm of Edgar Gonzalez (8-2) in a complete game effort by the to be soon drafted junior. The Rebels were never really in this game as Gonzalez dominated and gave up only 4 hits. Korby Batesole was 3 for 4 with a home run, 2 RBIs, and 3 runs for the mutts. Two more games as these two teams and the two teams listed below jockey for the third and fourth spots in the post season MWC tournament.
Air Force (12-15) at San Jose State (14-14)
They’ve started the series playing Thursday night and the Spartans continued their surprising series of winning ways by taking game one 3-1. The score says pitching and that’s what it was. Jake Swiech (4-3) got the win getting 6 IP and gave up only 5 hits and 1 run. Fineas Del Bonta-Smith got his fifth save with two innings of dominant work. Shane Timmons led the hitters going 3 for 3. This puts the Spartans in good position for a third place finish but this is not the time to count chickens.
UC Davis (15-32) at New Mexico (18-32)
Two teams going nowhere face each other in a meaningless three game series to end the season. Meaningless? I’m thinking players who don’t see much time on the field will get some ABs or innings and certainly won’t think meaningless. The Lobos are young and should grow a bit over the summer and may be a force to be reckoned with – next year.
So, here’s where we stand. San Jose State, amazingly enough, is in third place but only a one game ahead of UNLV. Air Force is a half game behind Vegas but none in the loss column. Fresno State is a full game behind Vegas but half to leap over Air Force to get within sniffing distance of fourth place. Nevada and San Diego State are solidly in the first two places and four teams are playing for the other two spots. Could be any two of the four involved. Who was it that said “Interesting, very interesting”?