Another Weekend with no Surprises for MWC Baseball
The top series this past weekend was UNLV taking on the Bulldogs of Fresno State on the road. As was expected, the pitchers on both sides showed up (for the most part) as there were three shutouts in three games and the Rebels take two of the games. The Rebels have far too many aces and two of them (Bryan Bonnell and Erick Fedde) won in shutouts. Bonnell was most impressive as he threw few pitches and didn't rely on the strikeout for his complete game. Air Force continues on the trend of no hitting as they got swept by San Diego State to keep the Aztecs in contention. Nevada takes advantage of bullpen woes of the Spartans as the Pack takes two of three against San Jose State. Jacksonville State and New Mexico play some even games as the Lobos take the series two out of three.
Air Force (2-13) at San Diego State (10-5)
I'm certain it was a beautiful weekend down in San Diego. I'm just as certain that the Falcons didn't take the time to enjoy it as they got swept by the Aztecs. The Aztecs by virtue of the sweep keep pace with UNLV for the conference lead. Unfortunately, the Falcons are all by themselves down at the bottom and are three games behind San Jose State for the next spot up. Game three was pretty close as the Aztecs pushed across two runs in the bottom of the eighth to make a winner out of Michael Cederoth (3-1). This was notable as Cederoth was brought in to close out the 2-0 lead only to blow the save. He gets the win and no closer likes to get wins let alone losses; it means they didn't do their job. I will post an article on the closers of the MWC in a couple of days. He's good. Air Force just can't score runs. Enough of this.
Jacksonville State (19-12) at New Mexico (22-11)
I know most of you have never heard of Jacksonville State but they are a decent program. They avert a sweep at the hands of the Lobos by winning the getaway game 9-2. Josh Walker (4-2) is tagged with the loss as ineffective in his 6 innings giving up 5 runs (4 earned). Colton Thomson (3-4) gets the win in game two as he goes 6 2/3 innings and strikes out 11 batters. He's been doing that. That and the zero walks. The first game was a close one which the Lobos took 5-3.
Nevada (8-7) at San Jose State (5-10)
This series between two ancient rivals that aren't having the best of seasons went to the ninth inning of the final game to decide who gets to brag. The Pack will get to howl for a few days anyway as they took the last game 7-4 by scoring 4 runs in the last two innings. It was tied going into the ninth when Ross Slaney walked the leadoff hitter on four straight. Unwritten rule in baseball; don't walk the leadoff hitter in any inning especially the ninth or extra innings. It is death. Death it was as the runner eventually scored as did two others in an ugly inning for the Spartans. Pitching has been the problem all year so I don't have to go too deeply into that. I will have to say that freshman starter, Logan Handzlik, pitched well in his 6 IP giving up only 3 runs. The future looks pretty bright for him. A good summer of wood bat league experience should pay dividends for him. Now for some equal time for the Pack. The best player on the field for Nevada is Austin Byler as he was the single feared hitter in the lineup. He looks like a hitter.
UNLV (11-4) at Fresno State (7-8)
The Rebels take two of three on the road at Fresno State. Big surprise here; the pitching showed up again. The teams traded three shutouts as Erick Fedde (6-1) won game one 6-0 going 7 IP and striking out 11 while walking 1. The mutts won game two 2-0 as Tim Borst (2-1) goes the distance against John Richy (5-2). Game three was a rout as UNLV won 7-0. Bryan Bonnell (4-2) goes the distance and does a masterful job in throwing only 87 pitches. My kind of pitcher. At the end of a game the batters wonder why they didn't whack that bum around. Pitch to contact and he did.