Aztecs Announce Baseball Schedule for 2019
And it’s a good one. They will be taking on the likes of Oregon State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Fullerton State. It’s hard to get better than the national champs who should be good again this year. If the Aztecs can get through this with some wins, they will get some well-deserved recognition and will be a power to be reckoned with in the conference. Did anyone think the team wouldn’t be?
Feb 15 – 17 Home San Francisco
The Dons were a little under .500 last year at 28-30 but they are usually at least ok if not pretty good. They had three.300 hitters last years and get two back in Riley Helland (.329 and 2) and Jonathan Allen (.308 and 7). That tells me the team might hit a little better than last year’s .258. Pitching was pretty good at 3.78 with three solid starters and a reliable closer. Two of them return in Riley Ornino (8-5 and 2.58) and Landen Bourasa (8-4 and 3.02) both of whom had 14 starts which bodes well for the weekend as pitching appears in good hands. However, the closer and the third starter are gone. Still a pretty healthy start. Thumbs up.
Feb 19 (4/16) Home/Road UC Irvine
The Anteaters were 8 games over at 32-24 in 2018. They hit well at .280 and pitching was a tad better than decent at 3.76. This was a young team that delivered which is always scary to opponents. As far as I can tell, they have most of the good ones coming back.They had four good hitters and three will return. Top hitter Brendan Brooks (.308 and 1) comes back as a sophomore. Konnor Zickefoose (.306 and 5 and a JR) and Jake Palmer ( .298 and a SO) return as far as I can tell. Pitching will be in the best of hands as first team AA SO Andre Pallante (10-1 and 1.60 with 115 K’s in 101 IP) comes back for two more years. He’ll be worth the price of a ticket to see what he can do and that’s just a start. Taylor Raschi (3-4 and 2.97), SO Trenton Denholm (4-8 and 4.72 with 15 starts as a frosh), and closer Jordan Bocko (5-2 and 2.98 with 8 saves and 47 K’s in 45 IP) all come back. Some of these players may have signed FA contracts but if they are all on campus, the Anteaters could be a power and the pitching is loaded. Thumbs up.
Feb 22 – 24 Home Tournament (Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas State)
Utah – A poor year after a good one in 2017. Eh, that’s the way it goes. Hitting was ok at .271 but pitching didn’t pull its weight at 6.65. You have to have great hitting to keep up with that kind of pitching and they didn’t. The Utes ended up at 16-39. Erick Miguelles (.261 and 7) returns with his big bat and only Oliver Dunn (.319 and 4) returns of the .300 hitters. Two of the rotation arms return in Joshua Tedeschi (2-10 and 5.42) and Brett Brocoff (2-7 and 7.05). Gone is the other starter and the closer. Work needs to be done. Hey, even if it is a Pac 12 team I can’t give it a go so thumbs down.
Oklahoma – The Sooners are an NCAA tournament team from 2018 and were well on their way to a Super Regional until they ran into Mississippi State which took two in a row to end their season. They were 38-25 in 2018 and could hit fairly well (.276) and pitch about the same (4.01). They hit a lot of home runs but gave a bunch also but they won. Brylie Ware (.331 and 1) is the only .300 hitter returning and the two leading big boppers are gone. Same can be said about starting pitching as two of the big three are gone but Nathan Wiles (7-3 and 3.54) returns so they have some holes to fill but, as with all of the big boys, they probably have plenty waiting in the wings. Such as Levi Prater (3-3 and 5.91 which garnered him a Freshman AA). Thumbs up.
Kansas State – The Wildcats did poorly at 23-31. Both hitting (.259) and pitching (5.85) didn’t do much and, that’s what happens. Will Brennan was the only .300 hitter (.359) and he was better by 67 points. I always tip my cap to a guy like that as the opposing team can pitch very carefully to him, if at all, and he still hits a ton. Kasey Ford was the top starter at 5-2 and 4.67 and that’s about it. Need a lot of improvement or new blood to do better this year. I hate to do this to a big boy, eh, no I don’t, but thumbs down.