Only Nine More League Games Left in MWC Baseball
Hard to believe. I/we wait all summer, fall, and winter for college baseball to happen and then it's gone in a flash. Yeah, I know, life's tough. But this is asking a bit too much of my normally quiet and pacific attitude (notice the use of the word pacific?). Oh, there's more; it's especially hard when the team you follow and bleed for is in last place. Waaah! So much for being sidetracked. Let's talk about what's up this weekend. The top two teams face each other with first place at stake. That would be New Mexico at UNLV. Geez, I wish I had deep pockets; I'd be there. I don't so I won't. UNLV has that great pitching but that was exposed a bit by Air Force last weekend. New Mexico is on a pretty good roll right now and can both hit and pitch so this should be a great series. A surging Nevada will be playing at a Great Basin neighbor's house as they take on the Pac 12's Utah. The Utes are in the midst of a poor season so if Nevada takes ‘em out it won't mean as much as, say, Oregon State. Air Force has come from out of nowhere, and I mean nowhere, to start winning and picking on the big guys on the block. Here we have one team that is on its way up and one that is trending downward. They could trade places in the standings. San Jose State will be taking on SDSU in San Diego and the Spartans' pitching will be thrust into the fire again as the Aztecs can certainly hit. The future (at least the near future) looks bleak for my boys in blue.
Air Force (5-13) at Fresno State (8-13)
The Falcons' youngsters have recently figured out D1 baseball as both freshmen and sophomores drew rave reviews over their efforts of the past week. Sophomore OF Spencer Draws earned Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week for his hitting against UNLV. Frosh Griffin Jax and Tyler Neubeck also shone so they will be ready for more. Fresno State has ok hitting (.265) and pretty good pitching (3.64) with starters Tim Borst and Jordan Brink leading the way. Jordan Luplow is their leading hitter and he has pop as 7 home runs attest. Air Force has its work cut out. The Friday night game has been rained out and will be part of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Nevada (12-17) at Utah (12-24)
The Wolf Pack is howling. The Utes are listening. Just a short (short?) trek over the wasteland that is called the Great Basin to the base of some wonderful mountains just east of Salt Lake City. Easy there. Don't get me wrong I love the Great Basin - to visit and hike some of the mountains such as the Ruby Mountains but, to travel? Yuck. Anyway, beautiful land. Nevada is on a streak and the Utes are struggling. That's a bad mix but strange things have happened elsewhere and surprises could be in store for one of the teams. I don't have a feel for this. The Wolf Pack must be feeling pretty good about themselves about now and that counts for a lot. The Utes? Wow, I don't know.
New Mexico (14-4) at UNLV (13-8)
The premier series for the weekend in the Mountain West. First place at stake. Great pitching against pretty good pitching and hitting. The whole ball of wax. The Rebels looked pretty invincible until they got whacked by Air Force last weekend. I'm wondering if the altitude had anything to do with it. Sliders don't work too well at altitude nor in deserts. Hmm, Las Vegas. Ok, I'll stop that train of thought. What DID happen? The Lobos have won nine in a row so you figure it out. The team's most recent victory was against Texas Tech which had won eight in a row up to then. The Lobos are looking very good right now.
San Jose State (6-15) at San Diego State (10-8)
The Spartans have lost four in a row to two good teams; three to New Mexico and one against Cal Poly. Yes, they got seriously spanked by the Lobos but they might get ranked again depending how the weekend goes and Cal Poly just got ranked number one but will hit the road for seven games so that may change. It's tough for the Spartans to win against tough opposition such as this. The Spartans pitching is sub-par to say the least and the hitting is always at a disadvantage by trying to catch up. San Diego State can hit and have a great closer so they should do just fine to keep themselves in the hunt. The Spartans have only four more home games and it's difficult for me to think this may be the last time I see them.