Fresno State Baseball 2017 Schedule
I think this is the last of the bunch. I’m already working on what I think might be the starting lineups for all the teams. New Mexico appears loaded as does Fresno and big question marks for the SJS Spartans. Those are the three I’ve started so I have no idea on the others. Anyway, back to business. The Bulldogs always seem to have an attractive (read that as challenging) OOC schedule and this year appears to be in the same vein. Read on.
Oregon has done quite well the last few years but last year the record was only 29-26 which I suspect didn’t sit well with Coach Horton. He has done a great job since he took over a brand new program as the Ducks had given up baseball until resurrecting the program. Anyway, last year? Not that great. No surprise why as they hit an anemic .232 even though the pitching was decent (3.74). Usually, starting with a Pac 12 program such as Oregon to start the season would be a real challenge. If Horton gets these guys to hit a lot more than they did last year, well, anyway. Hey, it’s a Pac 12 program; thumbs up.
2/24-26 (5/2) UC Riverside
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.
2/28 (4/19) Pacific
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. Now, that’s what I wrote for other teams but this is a battle for bragging rights in the valley. This also includes Sacramento State, by the way, and Bakersfield State could be included here also. Now there’s a basis for a decent tournament. Just based on rivalry I’ll hitch this one up to a thumbs up.
3/7 (3/22) at Pepperdine
If you’re going to watch college baseball somewhere, this is one of THE places to do it and I recommend going. Beautiful. The Waves last year? The Waves were pretty flat at 29-24. Heh, heh. No hit at .262 but the pitching was ok at 3.57. This is a legit program from the WCC so I’ll give this series a thumbs up.
3/10 - 12 Eastern Michigan
Don’t get to see a MAC team out west very often and I’d go to this series just to see what they might bring to the table. So, do any of you know their mascot? That should tell you something; the Eagles. They were a sub .500 team last season at 23-36. Not real good. Right, they didn’t hit much (.249) and the pitching was only mediocre (4.80). Results were as expected. Thumbs down.
3/15 (4/11) 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.
3/28 (4/25) 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. Still, this is a competitive team. Last year was only a tad above average but they have a tendency to follow that kind of year with a good one. Thumbs up.
4/5 (5/9) at Sacramento State
The Hornets are always one of my favorite programs. For the past few years they have been excellent with a good mix of hitting, power, and pitching. A lot of the guys who provided those numbers have moved on but even so they were 30-28 last season. The hitting was pretty poor at .258 but the pitching was decent at 4.26. The hitting must improve. You can call these games rival games as they both recruit a lot in the same area. Thumbs up as the coach gets the most out of his players.
4/7 - 9 at Michigan State
First thing that comes to my mind is the state of the weather in early April in Michigan. I can guess and it could be anything from snow to a pretty nice day. Let’s hope for a nice few days. The Spartans had a decent year in 2016 as they went 36-20. They went 2-2 in the Big 10 Tournament which got them nothing which, actually, is just about right. The boys in green certainly could hit as a team BA of .283 attests and the pitching was even better at 2.75. Those numbers tell me they should have been even better than their record. If they get most of these players back and it doesn’t snow, watch out. Thumbs up.
Geez, Bulldogs versus Bulldogs. Year in and year out this team fields a good squad and 2016 was as example. They were 36-21 and made it to the Fort Worth Regional where they beat Arizona State but lost to TCU and Arizona State to get eliminated. They had hitters (.287) with pop (out homered the opposition) but the pitching was only average at 4.32. This is just a single game right before the MWC Tournament so don’t expect to see either coach putting an ace on the mound. Thumbs up.
This is a pretty attractive schedule with Oregon, off a bad year, leading off with a series that should fill the stadium. Eastern Michigan and Riverside are also teams that will be fun to watch just to see what they have. So, how does MWC scheduling look to me this year? Not bad. No real cupcakes (i’ll always allow one, maybe two, lower division opponents) but I’d sure like to see some ACC or SEC teams. For the most part, those programs never, I mean NEVER, travel. It always gives them, I think, a false sense of how good they are. C’mon you guys, play a tough squad such as New Mexico or Fresno State on their home field. I know, it’s all about the money. Next up? Lineups.