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Second Weekend Goes Fresno State's Way

The Bulldogs sweep Nevada as they open MWC play early in the season. Air Force, New Mexico, and San Diego State also had winning records to gain a little respect for the Mountain West.

Derick Velazquez improves to 2-0 in sweep of Nevada
Derick Velazquez improves to 2-0 in sweep of Nevada
Fresno State Athletics

The Second Weekend Baseball Results

In the second weekend of the season two teams seem to have made positive statements; Air Force and Fresno State. The Falcons' pitching was stout in allowing only 4 runs in the 3 games with Navy. Fresno State took it to Nevada pretty good by sweeping the Wolf Pack. UNLV went to Knoxville with high hopes and got a serious case of humble handed to them by the Vols. New Mexico did well in their tournament and San Diego State took two of three from West Virginia.

Air Force (3-3) at Navy (2-4)
Pitching really came through for the Falcons as they gave up a measly 4 runs in the three game series. You'd think that they should have won all three but they took only two as the offense was on hold in the first game loss, 3-0. Steven Trojan (1-1) gets his first win as does freshman Griffin Jax (1-1). Keep an eye on this kid, he could be a good one. Seven strikeouts and only one walk in seven innings of work. He was also the DH and went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs. Not a bad day's work. They take two of three and are now a respectable .500.

Nevada (6-2, 3-0) at Fresno State (2-6, 0-3)
The Fresno State Bulldogs have officially served notice. They are a team to be reckoned with in the MWC this year. i've heard mutterings from the fans to that effect (on the bulletin board) so I guess they may be right. Everyone says it's early yet but they still count. Leadoff hitter Chris Mariscal led the mutts with 6 hits. When the leadoff is on all the time, that makes the rest of the offense that much more effective. They set the table. They also had a good combination of hitting and pitching as they win one game 11-9 and another 4-1. Derick Velazquez wins his second game in the series. Fans are happy in the valley. Nevada, they are not buying anything I'm selling.

New Mexico (4-3) Hosts Lobo Invitational (Northern Illinois (0-6), Missouri State (5-2)
The Lobos did pretty well in their own tournament. They split with Missouri State, which is a pretty good program, and they took one from Northern Illinois and another that had to be stopped as a tie due to travel curfew. The two wins were by shutout and the offense doing their part. Josh Walker (1-1) had a complete game shutout against the Bears of Missouri State which is pretty impressive.

West Virginia (2-4) at San Diego State (5-2)
The Mountaineers won the first game but the Aztecs got the upper hand (did that phrase come from arm wrestling?) to win the next two. The first Aztec victory was by the slimmest of margins, 2-1, and in 10 innings. I'm noting this as Bubba Derby, the starting pitcher for the Aztecs, went a great 8 IP only to have nothing to show for it but the confidence of his coach. The Aztecs continue to do well.

UC Santa Barbara (3-1) at San Jose State (2-6)
The Spartans continue to struggle out of the gate. They have played a tough schedule what with the Gauchos, Stanford (for a single game), and San Diego State to open the season. Coach has had to pitch freshmen and transfers, mostly. That says he has little idea who can get batters out so he throws them out there to see who delivers. So far, not a lot. The Spartans won the Saturday game as a freshman shortstop, Alec de Watteville, delivered a key bases loaded single to drive in the winning runs. In all three games, Santa Barbara hit the ball hard, often,  and most found holes. Tuesday offers little respite for San Jose State as Cal Poly comes to town for a single game. That's right. They're good too. They gotta find some pitching. To add injury to insult, the Spartans best player, Andre Mercurio, has been lost for a few weeks. They can ill afford the loss of his presence in the lineup.

UNLV (4-3) at Tennessee (7-0)
I was hoping that the Rebels would make a statement in Knoxville and they did. Not the one I or the fans were hoping for, however, as they got swept on the road. They played close but still went 0-3 for the weekend. The second loss was especially galling as Vegas had tied up the game 4-4 in the top of the ninth only to lose it in the bottom of the inning. That's always tough. To rub in the salt the run came with two outs and on an error. Ouch. The conference season starts for them next weekend.