Mountain West Baseball Begins this Weekend
That's right folks, baseball is upon us. Before the major leagues and before little league. College baseball starts Friday for just about all teams. But, this is a Mountain West website so that's what I'll deal with here. Believe me, that's more than enough. I have my own blog where I cover the WAC and the WCC and things have stagnated a bit over there. So, here are the games this weekend.
Air Force at The Citadel
This should be a good practice for the Falcons. Coach will want to see if his young team can match up well against The Citadel and I believe they will. The Citadel lost most of their good hitters and the starting pitching that returns is not that good. Air Force should prevail.
Michigan State vs New Mexico in an AZ tournament
The Lobos are loaded again but coach will be keeping a watchful eye on his pitching to see if it has improved or if more work is needed. The Spartans have good pitching so do the math; good pitching against good hitting = good game. The Lobos also play Northwestern and they come off a poor year so it'll be interesting to see what kind of team shows up. Oregon State is in rebuilding mode. In the past this would have been a grand matchup but hard to tell this year. All of the Beavers' ace players are gone and even coach feels it's going to be tough to replace those guys. You know what? The big boys are able to do that.
Nebraska at UNLV
This is a great series that should fill the stands. Everyone wear red! You can't go wrong. You might get a chance to see an AA pitcher in this one if the Huskers' Chance Sinclair starts a game. I project him as the Friday guy. But don't stop there as all the games should be good if not great. A great test for the Rebels.
Nevada at Abilene Christian
Abilene Christian is not a great team as they got a good portion of their few wins last year against NAIA fare so I'm not convinced. Nevada is poised for a great season so this is spot where they should make a point. By sweeping.
San Jose State at Loyola Marymount
The Spartans start their season of hope against one of the best teams in the west. The Lions are picked by most (including me) to win the WCC and they have simply great pitching. I am not against stern tests and this will be one but the Spartans could lose all the games and still be improved. I'm hoping for close games. The Friday game, which should have Kalei Contrades starting for the Spartans, will be the one to watch.
UC Irvine at Fresno State
ANOTHER good series. The Dawgs are hoping for improved offense and they do have Taylor Ward. Their pitching will carry them this year as there are far too many questions on offense. The Anteaters are, year in and year out, very good and this year is no exception. This will be an excellent series to watch.
Valparaiso at San Diego State
Valpo had essentially no hitting last season and I expect pretty much the same this year as little returns. The pitching was very good last season and ace, Dalton Lundgren returns for the Friday game. That might be the only game, if you get my drift.
There are two series that should peak interest. Irvine at Fresno State and Nebraska at UNLV. Keeping an eye on SJS is also of interest to see how a struggling program trying to gain a foothold will do against primo competition. Yay! It finally begins.