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Mountain West Starts Conference Baseball in Earnest

The conference season is in full swing. All the teams are playing each other except for one team. That will happen as there is an uneven number of teams. Must have a partner to play. In any event, the real season is here.

Cameron White pitches in an impressive win over Fresno State
Cameron White pitches in an impressive win over Fresno State
Sarah Chambers

MWC Baseball Now Well Under Way

The Mountain West had all teams playing each other except for one team and that's the way it will be for most of the remainder of the season. This time it was San Jose State that will have to wait to make a point. The series went pretty much as a lot of people expected but a few games were surprising as some of the downtrodden won a few games. Air Force made a mini statement as Cameron White pitched a gem for the Falcons in beating Fresno State in their only win of the weekend.

Fresno State (11-4, 5-1) at Air Force (4-8, 1-5)
The Fresno State Bulldogs went into Colorado Springs to take on a Falcons team that has yet to discover itself. The mutts were hot after sweeping Texas A&M but got cooled off a bit getting beat by a good Sacramento State team in a single game. All that being said, this should have been a mismatch. For the most part, yeah, it was but not in the first game. The Falcons' Cameron White (1-2 and 4.78) was the story in this one. The Falcons won 6-2 behind Cameron's great outing. He went 6 strong innings striking out 10 and walking one. For the season he has struck out 28 and walked a measly 3. Them's good numbers. He was helped on the offensive end by Tyler Jones 2 for 4 and 4 RBIs. The other two games were all Fresno. Game two was 7-5 in Fresno's way as Jake Stone, in a rare start, went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs. It's great to have that kind of depth. Jimmy Lambert (1-1) evened his record. Game three also went Fresno's way as they win 10-8. Lots of offense on both sides. Kevin Viers was 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs and a home run. This series win was expected of the mutts but the win by Air Force in game one was not and White needs to be watched to see if he continues with his great strikeout to walk ratio and can get his ERA to drop a bit. His numbers look good.

Nevada (6-9, 2-4) at San Diego State (11-4, 2-1)
The Aztecs were at home hoping to fatten up on lesser competition (see above). Never fails. The Wolf Pack comes to town and wins the first game to wake up the home team (and pissing off the Aztec coach) and then the Aztecs get down to business to win the final two games. The Pack's Bryce Greager knocked in the winning runs with a two-run homer in the fourth to settle the issue but it was close all the way as the Pack wins 4-3. The Aztecs win the second game 10-4 as Andrew Brown went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs to pace the offense. The Aztecs' Mark Seyler (3-1 and 2.28) was the story in game three. He pitched 8 innings giving up 0 runs on 3 hits for the win. Ty France went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and a home run. This series went pretty much as scripted. Yeah, I know, why didn't I say that about the Fresno State - Air Force series.

UNLV (10-4, 5-1) at New Mexico (9-6, 1-2)
The Rebels went into Albuquerque to face the Lobos in the premier series of the MWC. Lobo fans were disappointed but it was a pretty good set of games. UNLV wins the first in a rout 8-2. They also win the second game 3-2 that featured some late-inning scoring. The best was saved for last as the Lobos scored two in the bottom of the 12th inning to win in come from behind fashion. The winning run in the second game was scored on an error and the go ahead run in the top of the twelfth of game three also scored on an error. I'm sure the Lobo fans were getting tired of losing on unearned runs. Well, the Lobos scored one of their own in the bottom of the inning to win and salvage a very important single game. A three game sweep would have been tough to swallow.

San Jose State (5-12, 2-4) in tournament
The Spartans took some time off from MWC action to host the Jack Gifford Tournament. They were gracious hosts as they won only one of the four games they played in the tournament.They lost to Pacific which is undergoing a resurgence of sorts. They lost to Washington which is having a pretty good year at 10-4. They also lost to UC Davis which is just under 7-8 and all looked stronger than the Spartans in the games I saw. The Spartans win the final game 4-3 by scoring 4 runs on 3 hits and keeping the Aggies from scoring more than 3 runs on their 14 hits. Good defense and few walks always help. Two freshmen helped out in the final game; Jackson Berumen (1-0 and 3.97) got the win in long relief and Alec de Watteville (.213) doubled in the tying and winning runs with the bases loaded. The Spartans now have to look forward to facing one of the leaders in the MWC in UNLV this coming week. More on that later.