SDSU 2017 Baseball Schedule
This is the first of my judging OOC schedules for the Mountain West. I know most schedules are driven by budgets but I still think travel is important to a program. Read on.
Well, I’ll say this about the Aztecs; they don’t like to wander. As you’ll see below their OOC schedule, albeit a good one, is all in-state. That’s not a bad thing but I always like to see MWC conference teams take on an SEC, Big 12, or MVC team or two. Good exposure to possible recruits and you get a good idea where you stand on the national stage. But the below schedule is a good one. Fullerton, Long Beach State , USC, San Diego, UCLA, and UCSB are all tournament tested teams.
The Tigers moved to the WCC from the Big West in 2014 and have not fared well. They were 22-30 overall and 12-15 in conference. It’s been a tough few years. I don’t see them making a big jump in wins but baseball has a funny way of changing. A new coach can usually make that happen and Mike Neu enters his second year at the helm. Thumbs sideways.
02/22 at Fullerton
Fullerton was the champ of the competitive Big West in 2016. They are nearly always rated in preseason and usually live up to that hype. This is one healthy program that is always in a national mix. Most definitely a thumbs up.
02/28 at Long Beach State (also 03/21)
The Aztecs work a home and home with the Dirt Bags this season and these guys are another good program. They finished just behind Fulleron in 2016 and were in the Coral Gables Regional where they went 2-2 losing to the team that moved on; Miami. Do you want me to go into my diatribe about which teams host regionals? No? I think all teams should go on the road and away from home. There, I said it and that’s as much as you’ll get. Thumbs up.
02/03-05 Cal Poly
Cal Poly has been very good in the past couple years but 2016 was only ok as they finished 32-25 and fourth in the Big West. Yup, another Big West team. A total of six members of that conference play the Aztecs. Still, this is a competitive team. Thumbs up.
03/07 USC (also 03/28)
A Pac-12 team which always merits a star but the Trojans were about as average as you can get at 28-28 and 15-15 in the Pac-12. I still can’t believe Utah was the champ but far too many teams in this power conference just couldn’t get it done this past year. Arizona had 49 wins but was only a game over .500 in conference. Four teams in the Pac-12 went to a regional and I’m thinking two maybe three at most should have gone. Then again, Arizona made it to the CWS finals and deserved it as they had the best record in the Pac-12. Utah won the regular season title so they deserved to go also. That’s about it in my book. I wonder if crap teams that travel well get consideration? What do you think? Just based on USC’s tradition I give this a thumb’s up.
03/14 at San Diego (also 05/16)
The Toreros are a natural rival as they live in the neighborhood and they are always good. What happened in last year’s 27-29 team is a puzzle and I believe it’s just a bump in the road and they will return this season as a strong contender in the WCC. Rival game? Always rates a thumbs up.
04/03 San Francisco
The Dons started last year at 2-14 but finished on the strong side to end up 22-34. A bad start in college usually means no post season as the season is just too short to make the turnaround from oaf to tough. They finished in the middle of the pack in the WCC which gets you nuttin’ honey. If they can start as strongly as they finished last season, they could be something. Thumbs guardedly up.
04/04 UCLA (also 5/02)
The only other Pac-12 team on the schedule and they had a crap year at 25-31 after winning it all just a few years ago. It’s hard to keep it going unless you’re in the SEC. It warms my heart to see the absence of SEC teams in the CWS finals. And Coastal Carolina? Hoo Yah! Wave the flag for the mid major. Thumbs sideways as I don’t know what the Bruins have coming back.
04/11 UC Irvine (also 02/21)
Here we are back to the Big West. They started the year at 2-2 splitting a four game series with SJSU. Spartans fans took notice and then proceeded to watch my boys in blue fall on their face the rest of the year. Bummer. The Anteaters ended up an ok 31-25 but I think they’re better than that and may prove it this year. Thumbs up.
04/18 UC Riverside (also 04/25)
The Highlanders are a team in transition. They were 26-29 last season and 12-12 in the Big West. Head Coach Troy Percival (Yeah, that Troy Percival) enters his third season and his staff is experienced if nothing else. I saw some grey hairs, let me put it that way. I don’t mean that as an insult as what I have left is also grey. What I AM saying is the third year is when you should start to see some positive results. They are in the Big West and competition is stiff so keep an eye on this team. Thumbs up.
04/21-23 at UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos were the #3 team in the Big West and had the most wins at 43-20-1. I believe they were rated the #1 team in the country at some point. All this schedule says is that the Aztecs are appearing to make a run at the Big West title. Just joking a bit here but if they swept all the games with Big West team that would make them 15-0 in the Big West. That’s a lot of games from one conference to make up the OOC portion of the schedule. Oh, well, they are all good teams and the Aztecs will be challenged to keep their heads above water with all the Big West teams. Thumbs up.
Six teams from the Big West, two from the Pac-12, and three from the WCC. A decidedly California flavor but a competitive OOC schedule. The Aztecs will be tested.