Mountain West Boasts a Weekend Series to See in the West
UNLV at San Diego State pits two western powerhouses against one another in San Diego this weekend. Think about it, there are three teams (add New Mexico here) that are capable of winning the title and then there are the rest. Oops, there's always Fresno State lurking in the background. It's a tad early to say such things but, I think three teams in the Mountain West might make it to a NCAA Regional this year. Whichever team is the number three team needs to keep winning also. I hate post season tournaments for mid major baseball but it's a dirty fact that exists. Some regular season champs lose out. The biggies love it. Oops, sorry, off the soap box I am. Air Force and Nevada will duke it out to see if either program can gain ground. San Jose State has found at least one starter in Kalei Contrades (2-0 and 1.11) who is leading the conference in ERA. Man, he carries the pitching staff on his shoulders. New Mexico will be a stern test for him and the Spartans.
UNLV (7-2) at San Diego State (4-2)
Without a doubt this is the premier get together of the MWC weekend. These two teams were chosen by many to win the regular season conference title (along with New Mexico). Moving along here, the Aztecs are leading the MWC in hitting at .322 which is pretty amazing. UNLV is leading the MWC in pitching at 2.16. The classic match up of hitting versus pitching or the irresistible force against the immovable object. You choose. The pitchers I saw last weekend looked pretty darned good and I'll go with pitching every time. The Rebels' Erick Fedde is the real deal as is John Richy. I saw those two and they're good. The other two starters are also first class even though one (Bryan Bonnell) is a step below. That leaves Kenny Oakley, and he's no slouch. The Rebs do have a starting rotation. Then again the Aztecs have the league's leading hitter in Ty France (.446) to go along with two others in the league's top 10 hitters. The pitchers can't wobble or they will be dodging line drives. This is one to watch.
San Jose State (3-6) at New Mexico (4-2)
The Spartans could have two of the games with UNLV last weekend but didn't. Surprisingly, that was due to lack of hitting as they won a close one and lost a close one. The other loss was all due to bad pitching which has been the story this year. The three games against the Lobos in New Mexico could be bad for the boys in blue. New Mexico has decent pitching and darn good hitting. On the other hand the Spartans have both poor hitting and pitching. It could be a bad weekend for the Spartans. One thing; the Spartans have the conference's leading pitcher in Kalei Contrades and he should start one of the games.
Fresno State (15-7) at Creighton (9-6)
The Bulldogs will get a week off from conference games to lick whatever wounds they have. It will be interesting to see what the weather will be like in Omaha as March in Nebraska can be sketchy. Winter or spring? Your guess is as good as mine. The Blue Jays are decent every year so the Dawgs can't relax in this series.
Air Force (1-5) at Nevada (3-6)
A battle between two of the lesser lights in the Mountain West. The Falcons are doing a lot worse than I thought they would this year and have simply awful hitting and pitching. That means last by a long ways in both stats. Nevada is not that much better but better they are. There could be some shuffling at the bottom of the standings by Sunday night.