MWC Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

John Richy throws top game in the tournament

UNLV continues to win but New Mexico got surprised by a hot San Diego State team. Those three teams are the favorites but you can't discount Fresno State which plays Nevada in an elimination game. Either one of those two could surprise.

MWC Tournament Continues With Some Surprises

Anyone that has read my crap with any regularity knows how I feel about post-season conference tournaments. They're worthless money grabs that can only hurt teams from the mid-major conferences. The SEC can play their little tournaments and it matters not who wins or loses. They make money and every teams gets selected anyway. The WAC, which has one automatic, suffers the indignation of having a bottom feeding team get lucky, win the tournament, and gets the one automatic bid. The regular season champ gets to play Parcheesi. The WAC and the others in the same boat get that every year. I follow the WAC (not that obvious, is it?) and Sacramento State is now in the loser's bracket. They won the regular season championship and, if they lose the next game, they may be out. That's a travesty. They are a good team and should be in.

The Mountain West? Hmm, not quite so dreadful but close. New Mexico has lost, UNLV has won and I think those two teams will get a bid anyway. UNLV and San Diego State are the two teams that have no losses so they play today. If the Aztecs win out, they get the bid. That would be three teams from the MWC going to the dance. Of those three teams I don't see any that should not go. The only team that may get left out (and that's doubtful) is UNLV. At this point they have only 34 wins. I want them to go to show the rest of the known universe what good pitching a small western conference has.

So much for my rant. Breathe, Don, breathe. In an earlier post I already talked about Nevada beating San Jose State 4-0 to advance in the loser's bracket. They will face Fresno State today and Fresno State is actually looking pretty strong right now even though they lost yesterday to UNLV by 5-3. The Bulldogs just happened to run into John Richy (11-3) who had 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. The guy's great and will probably be drafted pretty early. Enjoy his presence while you can. The 6'4" 210 pound junior looks like the real deal to me.

In other games, New Mexico got taken out 11-5 by San Diego State. The Aztecs are winning by big scores right now and they will be playing in a great game that pits them against the pitching of UNLV. That isn't an elimination game but the winner will be in a great position to win the tournament. New Mexico will have to wait to see who they will play. The winner of the Fresno State - Nevada game gets that honor. Back to the Aztec - Lobo game. The Lobos made three errors which resulted in eight (8!) unearned runs. I betcha Coach Birmingham is seething. Starting pitcher Josh Walker is probably not a happy camper either. I know that players always try and downplay the effect of errors on their aspect of the game, but it MUST have an effect on pitchers. Unearned runs, more pitches to throw, more runners, ad nauseum. Ah, well, that's the nature of team sports. I think New Mexico will come out of the chute roaring in the next game.

Play ball!

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