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Fresno State Baseball Schedule Boasts Quality From First Series

The Bulldogs host UC Irvine at home to open the year and that is the series you should see if you have the chance. The rest of the OOC games are mixed between good (Oregon State and Santa Barbara) on the road and some single games worth watching. Two three game home series may not draw so well.

Coach Batesole always puts together a talented team and a good schedule
Coach Batesole always puts together a talented team and a good schedule
Keith Kountz - Fresno State Athletics

Fresno State Announces Attractive 2015 Baseball Schedule

The Bulldogs open with the Anteaters at home and that ought to fill the joint. Other home games that deserve gold stars are single games with Cal Poly, USC, Sac State, and Cal. All good to great programs. Road games include four big ones with the Beavers in Corvallis as well as a weekend at Santa Barbara. All in all, a challenging and good schedule. No NAIA games here, folks. By the way, I'm getting lazy in my old age. I became officially old in September. I am now a septuagenarian. Is that spelled correctly? Anyway, I'm 70. Thank you very much. Why do I bring this up? Because some of the write ups are borrowed/stolen from other write ups previously written - say Nevada and SJS. Deal with it.

2/13/15 - 2/15/15 UC Irvine
The Anteaters are a tournament tested team. They finished near the top of the Big West at 15-9 and made it into a regional where they eventually made it to Valhalla; the CWS. What a dream that is. The hitting was only average but they made it on, you guessed it, pitching. Simply outstanding at 2.76. With that kind of pitching you will always be in a game. The Mutts will have their gloves full. Zot! Thumbs up.

2/17/15, 4/14 Cal Poly (home and home)
A burgeoning powerhouse in the west, the Mustangs are now a power to be reckoned with in the Big West. They are the reigning champs of the conference and took Pepperdine to the wire in their regional. A great team that is getting better. Hey, Kruk, you reading this? They have good pitching (3.05) and hitting (.297) and that double whammy gets you lots of wins. Forty seven to be exact. These two games will be worth watching. Thumbs up.

2/24/15, 3/17 USC (home and home)
The Trojans still have cachet. Most of us old-timers still remember the 60's and 70's when they won and won again. Things have not been quite so bright for a few years now but they are still pretty good. They were just a bit over .500 this past season and a lot of that was due to sub-par hitting (.265). The pitching could say "Don't look at me!" as they did well (3.48). So what might we expect from them this year? Their leading hitter and only .300 hitter on the team is gone. They had a good recruiting class so maybe some help there. The starting rotation is in a bit of a hurt as two starters are gone but the lone returning arm (Brent Wheatley 4-3 and 3.58) is pretty good and had 14 starts. He'll need help. Ace closer Kyle Davis also returns. Yeah, I'd go to these games just to remember the good old days. Remember Dave Kingman? Thumbs up.

3/3/15, 4/22 Sacramento State
The Hornets are one of the best programs in the west and the tops in the WAC. They are getting better each year and I expect they could be big news in the central valley this year. They had both hitting and pitching (albeit in a lesser conference) but they compete outside the WAC just fine, thank you. They hit (.282) and pitched well (3.27) and that got them into a regional where they won one game in a tough regional. Eh, they're all tough at that stage. They lose one of the premier hitters in the west in Rhys Hoskins but return two top sticks in Nathan Lukes and Kyle Moses. Pitching has really been their game, though, and they have one of the game's best closers coming back in Sutter McLoughlin (9 saves and 1.81). I still think he should start but coach looks like a genius with the kid on the mound. Top starter Brennan Leitao returns for his senior year and he could play at the next level. Thumbs up.

3/6/15 - 3/8/15 at Oregon State
The Bulldogs head north to Corvallis to face an extremely good Beavers team. They won the Pacific 12 by two games and hosted their own regional in which they got taken out by UC Irvine (see above). This is another team that is always in the hunt for a national title and deservedly so. Fair hitting offset by drop dead great pitching (2.29). They had one of the top players in D1 ball in Michael Conforto but he's, uh, gone. The two top pitchers, and the top two in the west, are also gone. Oh, hell, they lost a lot. Time to rebuild? Nah, just reload. Thumbs up.

3/10/15 - 3/11/15 Wagner
OK, everyone, what is Wagner's mascot and where do they call home? I hear crickets. To be honest, I had to look also. The Seahawks are located on Staten Island and I would never have guessed that. They were a poor 19-35 last season as a member of the Northeast Conference. No wonder this is a home series; they're a snow belt team. The Seahawks had troubles hitting (.244) and pitching (4.76) which is bad chemistry. They lose their one .300 hitter but get back the numbers two and three hitters in Nick Mascelli and Jason Gordon. The three weekend pitchers were ok but the Friday guy (Ryan Casey) is gone but the weekend arms (Matt Morris and Danny Marsh) return. The two relievers with the most saves also return in Mike Adams and Steven Bloodworth. That's a little stability on a staff that needs to improve. The Seahawks will have troubles in Fresno. Thumbs down.

3/13/15 - 3/15/15 UC Davis
I keep hoping Davis will improve and they don't. Of their top four hitters only one returns. That's always hard unless you have some good ones waiting in the wings. I'm thinking coach has some development blues going on. The top three in the rotation are also gone and that's a lot of starts that have to be found somewhere. A veteran staff produced an under .500 season. Thumbs down.

3/25/15, 4/7, 4/28 Cal (home and home)
The Bears had a poor season. Their inability to hit (.241) was the main culprit. The pitching was good at 3.43. It's tough to win on only one barrel. You must have both barrels loaded. The leading hitter was Brendan Farney at .308 and he returns. Two guys with pop are gone so the hitters took one on the chin but where will help come from? They lose the top guy in the rotation but two of the three return. One (Ryan Mason) had only nine starts but Daulton Jefferies had 15 and he'll be back. Both are pretty good. They will have to find a closer as last year's guy (10 saves) is gone. So, the Bears have lost a lot of leaders. Maybe, but it's still a Pac 12 team. Thumbs up.

4/1/15 - 4/4/15 at UC Santa Barbara
On the other hand, the Gauchos had a great season in 2014. They were 34-17 overall but a surprising 12-12 in the Big West. I'm telling ya, it's a tough conference. But, because of that, they didn't get picked for a regional. That's tough. They had both hitting (.288) and pitching (3.53). They had three top hitters in the regular lineup and they return two which ain't too bad. The weekend rotation returns at least two arms if not three as I'm not sure if the junior (Austin Pettibone) got drafted. Closer Dillon Tate (12 saves and 1.45) returns. I think they'll be ok. Thumbs up.

5/5/15 Cal State Northridge
The Matadors had a bad season. The old story of average pitching being supported by poor hitting adds up to losses most of the time. Yep, 18-38 to be exact. Nick Blaser is the only .300 hitter in the lineup and he returns. After him, who knows. Jerry Keel (0-11 and 3.64) is the only starter in the rotation returning. Look at his numbers. It sounds like the Giants' Matt Cain to me; pitches well with no support. In looking at the roster it appears the coach opened the door to a ton of players looking for a spot on the roster. It's a tough job. Thumbs down.

Fresno State usually has a pretty good slate of OOC games with some big programs coming to the Central Valley. That's because of that nice little park and the great support from the fans. This year it's Irvine as the headliner followed up by lesser lights Wagner and UC Davis. Snow belt teams are always looking for warmer climes to play (Wagner) and local teams (Davis) also trying to save a dime. Other than Irvine, the games to see are Oregon State and Santa Barbara on the road with Cal Poly, Sac State, and USC as single games at home. That's enough quality to keep the fans interested; as long as they win.