UNLV Takes Care of Business with New Mexico
The Rebels concluded a successful weekend at home against New Mexico by sweeping the Lobos out of town. That gives them the lead in the Mountain West by a half game over the Lobos. That just tells me this story has not ended. Nevada played in two wipeouts with Utah and they both won one game in decidedly dominating fashion. San Diego State stayed in contention by taking two of three from San Jose State. Fresno State cooled off Air Force by taking three straight from the Falcons in no-doubt games. It appears to me that the Bulldogs could make a run for the title but that's doubtful. They have too many bodies to climb over and those bodies won't all go into slumps at the same time. It's mostly time to keep an eye on UNLV and New Mexico with San Diego State lurking on the perimeter like jackals at a lion kill. Like that image?
UNLV (16-8) and New Mexico (14-7)
New Mexico went into Las Vegas hoping to show the Rebels that they indeed were the boss in town. Didn't happen. Game one showed what kind of weekend it was going to be for the Lobos as they lost 11-2 and it was over by the end of one inning as the Rebels put up a 6 spot in their half. Three home runs by Justin Jones, Joey Armstrong, and Erik VanMeetren only added emphasis to the rout. Erick Fedde (8-2) went 6 2/3 innings to gain the victory in the all-important Friday game. Game two was pretty much the same as it was done by the end of four innings. The final in this one was 14-6. The Rebels whacked three more home runs by Patrick Armstrong, Morgan Stotts, and Matt McCallister to help make it a rout. Starter John Richy (7-3) remained in control even though he gave up a few more runs than usual. The rout was even more complete in the third game as the Rebels had 21 hits to score a 14-2 win. Morgan Stotts had another home run and had 5 RBIs to add to the destruction. Man, this was ugly. Bryan Bonnell (5-3) went 7 2/3 innings for the win. The Rebels had been relying on their pitching up to this series but the offense really took over. I mean, come on, seven home runs? That's more than a lot of teams for the season. I know it's more than San Jose State. Let there be no doubt but New Mexico will not go away.
Nevada (22-18) and Utah (13-25)
This was a weird two games as inclement weather decided to take part also. Utah dismantled the Wolf Pack in the first game 12-0 to make a complete lier out of me. I figured Nevada would be more of a competitor in this and all the games. Didn't happen here. Oh, did you see that Nevada made five errors? That's pretty bad at any level. Believe me, errors unnerve pitchers. Game two was a complete reversal of fortune as the Pack rebounds to win 11-1. Kewby Meyer went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and a home run and it seemed the whole pitching staff had a chance to throw. Coach apparently looked at this one as similar to a mid week game. Save the pitchers for the ones that count.
San Diego State (12-9) and San Jose State (7-17)
The Spartans pulled their usual routine of losing the first, winning the second, and losing the last. They lost the first in heart-breaking fashion as the Aztecs score two runs in the bottom of the 11th inning on a wild pitch and an error (on one play) to make a loser of the boys in blue. In a rare event, the Spartans wasted an excellent outing by starter Kalei Contrades as he went 9 innings giving up only one run before things went out of control. Aztecs' closer Michael Cederoth (4-1) went 3 1/3 innings to gain the victory. Game two was the Spartans' turn to inflict some pain as they score 4 runs in the top of the ninth to win 9-5. Errors by the Aztecs in the late innings accounted for four unearned runs and that was the difference. How much of a difference? The four runs in the ninth were produced without aid of a hit. Wow! I guessed that pissed off San Diego State as they win the final game easily 14-3. The Aztecs' Brad Haynal went 3 for 4 with two home runs and 7 RBIs. That's one hell of a big day. Spartans' Sheldon Daquioag went 4 for 4 and Matt Lopez went 3 for 4 but there were only 6 other hits. With little power in the lineup, others have to get more hits to produce runs. San Diego State remains in the race.
Fresno State (11-13) and Air Force (5-16)
The Falcons landed in Fresno feeling pretty good about recent events but then some bullies came along and stole their lunch money. I never had that happen did any of you? Sounds crappy. Anyway, the same old demons showed themselves for the Falcons; no hitting. They scored a total of three runs in the series and the pitching couldn't hold up as they were pretty much trounced in all the games. They lost 8-1, 6-1, and 11-1. If you were a fan of Air Force and were at these games, I imagine you socialized a lot since there was little reason to watch the games let alone cheer. I've never been one to shout out "Good try, Bobby!" when you're team is getting bounced. Hmm, maybe in T-ball. In the final game Manny Argomaniz went 3 for 5 with 3 runs, 2 RBIs, and 2 home runs. Jordan Luplow went 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs. Two players caused most of the damage.