San Jose State Baseball Scheduled Announced
The Spartans, along with some other MWC members, have just announced the upcoming baseball schedule. At first glance, not bad. Starting off with UCLA is always a challenge even though the Bruins are coming off a mediocre year. All games will be a challenge this year for the Spartans as they try to rebound from more than a few years of losing baseball. So, let’s see what they have in store for fans of Sparta. Uh, as an aside; SJS fans need something to look forward to after watching football and basketball the last few years. Man, it hurts.
02/17/17 - 19 at UCLA
The only other Pac-12 team on the schedule besides Stanford 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 up for the Spartans as I don’t know what the Bruins have coming back and they surely need to stand up to these guys.
2/23 and 25 BYU
The Cougars were one of three champions in the WCC. Surprised me. They were a good 37-17. A few years back they weren’t doing so well but they’ve picked up the pace as you can see. They hit an astounding .325 with ten .300 hitters. Geez, who do you sit? The pitching was ok at 4.09 but they had the beauty of all that hitting on their side. Here, hit this. Thumbs up.
2/24 and 25 Northern Colorado
I live about 35 miles away from Greeley, the home of the Bears. If the Spartans were paying them a visit, I’d be there in a heartbeat. However, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. They are a snow belt team and spend the early part of the season on the road which leads to stinky records. Last year they were 16-34 overall but were just about .500 in the WAC. The Bears started the season 3-11 with all of those games on the road. I think that gives you an idea of what they deal with each season. It’s a tough life being a mid-major snow belt team. This season? The first ten games on the road including these two. This team had a tough time at bat (.251) and on the mound (5.99). It’s hard for me to be tough on what is now “my” team but a thumbs down is what I’m giving this matchup.
I’m not real high on Big 10 baseball. It’s the weather, man. Think Illinois or Michigan in February. Yep, more road games than home. Be that as it may, they still won as they were a good 36-21 last season and 13-10 in the Big 10. They could hit at .299 and pitch (3.86 is pretty good) so this should be a good game. These two played last year and Big Blue won 6-5 so they have a history. Thumbs up.
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.
3/14 at Fullerton
One of the powers in the Big West and the west in general, the Titans are always a threat to win the big show. Hasn't happened in awhile but they are the pride of the mid-major. Hmm, maybe Coastal Carolina can carry that flag now. You DO know that this only happens in baseball, right? Anyway, they were 36-23 overall and 17-7 in conference. That's the way to do it, save your best for in-conference games. They hit a poor (for them) .262 but the pitching was top notch at 2.22. This was all good enough to get them in a regional where they went 1-2. Seems to me they always get in. Thumbs up.
3/23 - 26 at Hawaii
Here's a team that's tough to play in Honolulu. It's just the idea of being in Hawaii. Hey, let's go to the beach after the game. Boy, focus can be lost. I know Hawaii must have lost theirs. They were 23-30 in 2016 and a poor 14-21 at home which means they were .500 on the road. Go figure. They are well supported at about 4,000 or so a game but the fan base is getting a little hot due to all the losing. Name a fan base that's ok with losing. Right. They neither hit well (.265) nor pitched well (4.18) though the pitching was marginally better. SJS supporters probably have their tickets ready and their bags packed. Thumbs sideways.
3/29 (and 4/04) Santa Clara
These two teams play each other every year to see which gets bragging rights. Records mean little when they play. But, I must say both teams had tough times last season. The Broncos were 23-29 overall and 10-17 in the WCC. They hit poorly (.254) but pitching was ok at 4.40. The Broncos and Spartans played twice last year and Santa Clara won both. Ordinarily I’d put down a thumbs down for two teams with losing records but these are grudge matches and records be damned. Thumbs up.
4/11 (5/02) Stanford
Ooh, more grudge matches. These two split two games last season and any win against Stanford always puts a smile on the face of any SJS fan. I know it does me. The Cardinal were 31-23 last year and an unimpressive 15-15 in the Pac-12. Now you know that ain’t typical. How’d this happen? The bats didn’t come to life for the most part; .252. The pitching was fine at 3.17 which is very fine indeed. Thumbs up.
4/18 at Saint Mary’s
The Gaels had a great year, finally, in 2016. I had them pegged as the champions of the WCC in 2016 and they challenged for sure. They won the WCC Tournament which got them into the Raleigh Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Who could ask for more? They were quickly eliminated by eventual champion Coastal Carolina and Navy. I think they were dazzled by the bright lights of the big time if nothing else. How will they do this year? I can't say but they certainly have something to build on. Thumbs up.
5/09 - 10 at Grand Canyon
Weird program. A member of the WAC coming up on three years (I think). Before that they were a DII powerhouse. I wrote about this team back then and figured they would struggle in the WAC. Boy, was I wrong. They won it all their first season as a D1 team in the WAC. Sorry, no tournament for you as rules say two years (I think) before you can play in the NCAA Tournament. Last year I had them pegged to do much better and, boy, was I wrong; 25-28. See how smart I am? Hitting was decent at .288 and pitching was ok at 4.73. That should have given them a better record than what they had. Go figure. I still like 'em. Thumbs up.
5/12 - 15 at San Francisco
When I write about Dons baseball I can't help but think back to the 1950's. Those were definitely the glory days for USF; football had Ollie Matson and Gino Marchetti (am I right about him?) and were close to the top team in the country. Basketball had Bill Russell and K.C. Jones who ended up being two of the mainstays of Boston Celtics championship years back in the day. Those days are long gone but are easy to remember. But, that's not baseball. Baseball has been ok but not great for many years and last year was no exception. They were 22-34 and did little to strike fear into the rest of the WCC. They didn't hit (.260) and the pitching was poor (5.28); hence, their record. Thumbs down.
Overall, this OOC schedule has a local flavor to it and most fans would be happy winning more than half against pretty fair competition. The Spartans will be pressed to do that under a new coaching staff and their lofty expectations. No top ten teams here but no bottom feeders, really, either. I hope to make a home game or two in the spring as my wife and I come back often to visit. Yes, I still miss the bay area and San Jose but Colorado is home now. Just had a big buck walk through the yard. Didn’t get any of that in Willow Glen. Doors are unlocked for friends.