San Diego State 2015 Schedule
The Aztecs had an outstanding year last season and made it to the post season which is always something of which to be proud. Can they do it again? Never know but I suspect they will be pretty good again. Their OOC schedule is only so-so in my book with a weekend series with Texas Tech, three games broken up with UC Irvine, and two with rival San Diego leading the way. No real cupcakes in the lineup but I always like to see the most challenging you can get. I know, that worries the hell out of coaches that don't happen to have a absolutely great squad. People like me pay attention to RPI and strength of schedule. Then there's that pesky end-of-season conference tournament. Gack! The Aztecs should do well.
2/13/15 - 2/15 Valparaiso
Valpo is known more for basketball than for baseball. A just under average year at 25-28 last season as a member of the Horizon Conference. They had atrocious hitting (.237) and it makes you wonder how they made it to 25 wins. It shouldn't as their pitching was pretty good at 3.88. As I've always said, anything under 5.00 in college ball is ok, under 4.00 is pretty good, and anything under 3.00 is awesome (I hate that word). The past few years with the advent of spongy bats and no power, ERA's have shrunk and are now just as deceiving to fans as were all the home runs in the years before the change in bats. Someday a happy medium will be found. Makes Kris Bryant all that more amazing. Oops, off track again. Valpo had no .300 hitters but had two .290 hitters who are now gone. That's not good. Top starter Dalton Lundeen (5-6 1.94) returns as does Mario Cole (7-4 and 4.05). They had a terrific closer last year but he's moved on also. The rotation looks pretty good so the team could improve but, that hitting. Thumbs down.
2/17, 3/17 Loyola Marymount (home and home)
I stole this from my SJS write up. I pick LMU to possibly win the WCC this year as I think their pitching is just fabulous. They have one of the premier pitchers in the west in Tyler Megill over whom the pros drool. They also have his kid brother who may start one of the games. The recruiting class is also highly rated (I agreed) so they have a lot going for them. The team hit close to .300 also so this will be a big challenge. The Lions should make it to the NCAA's this season. Thumbs up.
2/19 - 2/22 at UC Riverside
The Highlanders had a sub-.500 year but the big news is the hiring of their new coach. Troy Percival is a name that should be familiar to fans of MLB. Yeah, it's that Troy Percival. The one who was one of the best closers in the American League during the 1990's and early 2000's. He started out as a catcher so he knows both ends of the battery. Very important. I also looked at his assistants and there are no young guys there either; lots of experience and that should prove most beneficial. I like guys who are long in tooth but you gotta start somewhere and sometime. Back to the team. Good hitting at .282 but only ok pitching at 4.05. I see that improving no matter who is on the mound. Pitching is so much philosophy and situations. Percival will help here. Of the top three hitters, only Thomas Walker returns (.328). The rotation had, I emphasize had, three starters with 14 starts each. They are gone as is the closer. That leaves a lot of work for the coaching staff to see who steps up at bat and on the mound. Because of the coaching staff alone, I will give this a thumbs sideways. You know, wait and see.
2/24, 5/5 San Diego (home and home)
This is always a good match as the two teams want to prove their dominance for bragging rights if nothing else. The added benefit (I guess) is the possibility of landing more local recruits. I don't know if that works. The following was stolen from a previous post of mine. The Toreros are always good. They get some of the best recruiting classes and turn out the pros. The most recent being Kris Bryant who could be one of the emerging stars for the Cubs. They will be competitive. Last year the team did not live up to expectations. In fact, many thought they might be the number one team in the nation. That didn't last as they finished 34-20 and didn't make the cut for a regional. They underachieved. However, they could hit, as .315 attests, and the pitching was good at 3.41. Wha hoppen? That is a good question to which I have no answer. Maybe some of you Torero fans know. Most of the starting lineup hit over .300 and most of them got drafted. They have plenty to take over but only the season will tell if they are rebounding from last year. Pitching? They had some good ones and the pros drafted a few. Two of the starters and a few relievers are now gone. I have no sympathy as I suspect they have some very good arms to take over. This team is always loaded. Thumbs up.
3/3, 4/7, 4/14 at UC Irvine (home and home)
You've been reading these posts on this site, of that I'm sure. Then you have read what I think of the Anteaters and how they've performed. Any questions? Thumbs up.
3/10, 4/6 at Long Beach State (home and home)
The Dirtbags had a decent year at 34-26 and play in the super competitive Big West. So, they are a good program. They hit average, at best, at .260 but the pitching was outstanding at 2.97. If they could have garnerd a few more .300 hitters, they might have done some big things. Oh, well. Of the four .300 hitters they did have, only Garrett Hampson (.308) returns. The rotation bragged three excellent arms and they are gone. Whoops! The weekend needs to be rebuilt. The closer, Ty Provencher, returns and I always wonder if that means he might get a look at starting. This is a program that might suffer a bit of a downturn as most of the stats are gone. Thumbs sideway.
3/13 - 3/15 Texas Tech
This is a very good weekend series to have at home. I borrowed this from another post. The Red Raiders were a CWS participant last season so little has to be said about this team. They can hit (.285) and pitch (3.11). They lose one good hitter with pop in Adam Kirsch but return Eric Gutierrez who hit .302 with 12 home runs. Geez, home runs are so rare in college baseball. I miss Kris Bryant. The Cubs got sumpin' in him. You watch. The rotation's ace, Dylan Dusek returns after a magnificent season (8-0 and 1.94). The number two starter (Chris Sadberry) is gone as is his 17 starts. They appear to have a deep staff (all the big boys do) so they will be ready. The Aztecs should face Dusek and will see what the rest of the rotation looks like. Thumbs up.
The Bruins were CWS champs a few years ago and it always takes a year or more for that glow to wear off. Just ask Fresno State. The Pac 12 is a tough conference and champs at any level always have a difficult task of repeating as everyone else wants to bump them off the following year. It's also tough when two of your starting pitchers are now plying their trade in the bigs. That says how strong the staff was. Not so much last year. The Bruins were 25-30 last season and poor hitting was the prime reason. They had one .300 hitter and he's gone. Someone will need to step up. Actually, many will as the team hit a paltry .252. They can thank the pitching for the record they did have as it could have been worse. The pitching's ERA was a very good 3.35. Here's where it gets scary. The top three starters all return as does another arm with 11 starts. That's four good arms coming back. That's depth and experience. But wait, there's more. Closer David Berg returns to shut down any close games. If they can find some hitters, this team could make it back to the CWS. Thumbs up.
The Cougars are in the WCC and have been for two years (IIRC). They've been ok. They were 22-31 last season and they could hit (.294) but you never knew what was going to show up on the mound (4.45). They had seven, yeah, seven, .300 hitters and three of them return. That's a good start. But let's look at the staff. Of the three starters, one returns as they other two were drafted and signed I believe. Not a lot of starts return so that's a work in progress. Closer Brandon Kinser does return. We'll see what happens. Thumbs sideways.
4/21, 4/28 at Cal State Northridge (home and home)
The following is from the Fresno State post. 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.
5/14 - 5/16 Saint Mary's
Some of this is from the SJS post. The Gaels struggled and finished close to the bottom of the WCC at 8-19. They lost a few to the draft so that will hurt but that's college life so deal with it. Why'd they lose? Hitting was a bit under par and the pitching did poorly. Do the math. This series ends the year for the Aztecs and they may be able to pad their record with these three games. Thumbs down.