UNLV OOC Schedule for 2019
The Rebels, and, equally, San Diego State, have something going for them that others in the MWC don’t; fabulous baseball weather during the early part of the season. What that results in is a lot of OOC home games early on and, sometimes, some good snow belt teams. Let’s see what they’re getting this season. Oh, I’m sure you’ve all noticed that some of the team comments are copies of what I said for the other teams. No sense in writing something new about a team I’ve already covered. Thanks for your understanding.
Feb 15 – 17 Seattle Home
This may be the first time this team has seen the sun since practice started. That alone puts them at a disadvantage. Gack! What is that bright thing in the sky? The Red Hawks had a decent year in 2018 at 34-23. However, losing both games in the WAC Tournament did them no favors so no NCAA Tournament for them. They hit a healthy .281 with five .300 hitters and the pitching was just about average at 4.81. Top hitter Justin Mazzone (.339 and 3) comes back as a sophomore but only one other .300 hitter returns. A lot of experience disappears. The same can be said of the pitching as only Jake Prizina (8-1 and 3.82) returns but you can see he’s a good one to start with. The closer also is gone. They have lost a lot. Thumbs sideways.
Feb 19 & 20 UC Santa Barbara Home
The Gauchos were 27-28-1 in 2018 and their stats were about as lackluster as their record. Hitting was barely there at .265 and the same with pitching; 4.21 even though it was marginally better. They had five .300 hitters but then it dropped off after those guys. Tevin Mitchell (.333), Thomas Rowan (.312 and 4), Tommy Jew (.312 and 5), Cole Mueller (.303), and Drew Williams (.304 and 2) all return. Geez, that’s close to half of the starting lineup and they all come back. Of the rotation, Chris Lincoln (2-3 and 3.49) and Jack Dashwood (2-6 and 5.27) return. The Gauchos are returning a lot of players that had them close to .500 in 2018 and I think they will have a very good year if others pick it up. Thumbs up.
Feb 22 – 24 Stanford Road
The Cardinal (Why not plural like the St. Louis Cardinals?) are always a tough match for any team on the road. Then again, you always want to test yourself against the best or some of the best. One of the best in the Pac 12 is about as good as it gets. The Cardinal were an excellent 46-12 in 2018 and lost to Fullerton State in a NCAA Regional of which they were the host. Anyway, they are good and are expected to be good again. They hit well (.278) with some pop (55 HRs). The pitching was the team’s strength at 2.83. Surprisingly, they had only three .300 hitters but there were few on the team that didn’t pull their weight.
Only Brandon Wulff (.303 and 4) returns of the .300 hitters but three who were close return so they should be ok. Tim Tawa hit .296 with 7 dingers and was a Freshman AA which deserves some ink I’d say. They lose two of the three weekend starters but Brendan Beck (8-0 and 2.43 and a Freshman AA) should be the Friday guy. To close things out Jack Little (3-0 and 0.60 with 16 saves) comes back. He alone may be worth the price of admission as he was a first team AA last year. He had 58 K’s in 45 IP and a WHIP below 1.00. His AA status was well deserved. Jacob Palisch (4-1 and 1.72) was a great one out of the pen and was another Freshman AA. One possible fly in the ointment is a new head coach after years of the retired Mark Marquess. How will the team respond? Then again, am I off a year? Thumbs up.
Feb 26 Utah Home
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, it’s a Pac 12 team so thumbs up.