Nevada Baseball Schedule Stays Close to Home in 2014
For the most part Nevada doesn't go very far afield to play ball. That is pretty similar to most teams in the WAC, WCC, and the MWC. It costs too darn much to visit Texas, LSU, Wichita State and other good programs far away. Why bother when you can get UCLA, Arizona, Fullerton State and their kin? Yeah, well, maybe so, but I'd sure like to see some of the programs from the east and southeast either come out here or have a home and home series. So, Nevada is not that different.
2/14 -16 at Santa Clara Tournament
The Broncos have had a tough time of it the past few years as they've finished last in the WCC and have had little luck in the OOC portion of their schedule. Last season they started off by winning a few games in surprising fashion but weren't able to keep it up. Hitting was a problem as they didn't. For them to be successful they will have to hit better than the team BA of .247 of 2013. Then again, the pitching didn't do very well either at 5.50. I can't really judge how the Broncos will do this year but, unless they get some great newbies and the returning players don't improve, they will struggle. Thumbs down.
The Eagles didn't do very well last year either at 12-40. Their best hitter was at .253 so I don't need to say any more than that. Pitching was ok at best. This is not a good match up. They had two good starters in Andrew Chin and Hunter Gordon but only Chin returns from last year's team. The one good thing that gives the Eagles bragging rights is that they played in the hyper competitive ACC which means they played against some of the best that can be found in college baseball. That's trial by fire. Because of that alone I say thumbs sideways.
2/25, 4/30 Sacramento State (home and home)
You've read elsewhere what I think of Sacramento State. In fact, I'm repeating myself. The Hornets have been a more than decent program as of late and the coming year could be a great one for them if everything clicks. I have them picked to win the WAC but all those pesky games must be played out to see if I'm right. They have the big three; hitting, pitching, and power. Thumbs up.
3/4, 11 Pacific (home and home)
A new member of the WCC and late of the Big West. They have not fared too well the last few years and the future does not look bright. They may yet turn things around but I don't see it this year. Thumbs down.
3/14 - 17 at Hawaii
The Wolf Pack go to the islands to see how they fare against the Rainbows in a four game series. Here's a team that seems to play just about all their OOC games at home which is no surprise. This is a rare program that seems to make money. They average about 4K in attendance which says it all. However, there is trouble in paradise as the team has not lived up to fans' expectations and it seems they are classic underachievers. Last year they were 16-35 and a new member of the Big West. They started the season with a ten game losing streak. Ugh. I will say this in their favor; the teams that they do play as part of their OOC schedule are usually top notch programs. I guess it can be said that they are losing to some of the best. This could be a good series. Thumbs up. Why? It's simply the venue, man. The islands, a big crowd, what could be better? Wins.
3/25, 5/6 UC Davis (home and home)
The Aggies are another team from the Big West that has done poorly the last few years. I thought last year that they would break out and at least be competitive. Well, they weren't. They were 19-37 last year and, for the most part, pitching did them in. They hit ok as they had three .300 hitters led by Nick Lynch at .359. He returns so he's a star to watch. Tino Lipson (.339) and Steve Patterson (.324) also return so the top hitters are back to make some pitchers nervous. If pitching continues its ways, then it will be another long season. Thumbs down.
3/31 - 4/1 Grand Canyon
I'll cut and paste here as I feel I have nothing to add that I didn't already say in the Fresno State writeup. A new D1 program; newly elevated that is. They've proved they're good at a lower level of college baseball but the move up could prove tough on them. They are also a member of the WAC which sure ain't the same ol' WAC as last year and the year before. This early test of the Antelopes' program would be interesting to see. Last season they could both hit and pitch. Again this will be a test and no need to adjust the horizontal or vertical. Thumbs sideways.
4/15, 4/22 San Francisco (home and home)
The Dons had a great season in 2013. They made it to the NCAA Tournament and that's always great. They were 35-24 and they did it with pitching. The staff ERA was a great 3.36. I don't know if they would have had the record they did based on the hitting which was an anemic .264. They could have gone a long way with some hitting. They return at least one good hitter in Bradley Zimmer who is a pre-season AA as he hit .320 last year. Two other .300 hitters return in Derek Atkinson and Zach Turner. That's some experience.
4/25 - 27 at Utah
Usually scheduling a Pac-12 team is reason to be proud of a tough foe. Well, the Utes have had their problems in the conference since joining a few years ago. Yes, the Pac-12 is tough but this team in red was a poor 7-23 in conference and 21-31 overall. Hmm, they did better in the OOC portion of their season. They didn't hit very well (.254) but the pitching was pretty darned good (3.92). Lessee, no .300 hitters from last year - at all, so none return. They had a plethora (sounds like I'm choking, doesn't it?) of pitchers with great stats with many returning. Just based on the pitching alone and their record in OOC games, I'd have to give this single game a thumbs up.
5/13 Utah Valley
Another new WAC member that has moved up (barely) from the old Great West. In past years they have been quite a power even though mostly ignored throughout college baseball. They fell a bit last year but might be somewhat better this year in a hopeful return to past glory. They lost much of last year's pitching but get some starters back with Devin Nelson ( 4-5 and 3.55) leading the way. The hitters are led by Mark Krueger (.323 and 2) and Riley White (.305 and 1). This should be a good game. Thumbs up.
This is an ok schedule with San Francisco and Sacramento State being the games fans should go and see. The rest are only average draws. Then again, it's always nice to play and win against any Pac-12 team; in this case Utah. It's also interesting to note that they have only Hawaii and Utah as weekend series (both four games) with Grand Canyon being a two game set. The huge in conference list of games takes care of most of the games.