Some Good Games in Store for the Weekend
The top draw has to be the Tony Gwynn Tournament in San Diego hosted by both San Diego and San Diego State. Six other teams are participating and they are all good. A few other games will have teams trying to prove themselves such as San Jose State, Air Force, and Nevada. We'll see how it goes.
Wichita State (2-2) at New Mexico (3-1)
The Wheat Shockers have lost two in a row after starting out the season by dismantling Northern Colorado in two games by a combined score of 28-2. Northern Colorado won the getaway game and then the Shockers dropped a road game to Oral Roberts 6-4. That 2-2 record doesn't tell me a lot. It's not impressive and not horrible, either. The Lobos, on the other hand, took it to Hawaii over on the rock and those were impressive wins for a road team. These three games are a test for both programs. Stay tuned. One bit of good news for the Lobos is the return of lefty starter Colton Thompson (1-0) who was MIA a good portion of last year. He impressed in his start against Hawaii giving up no runs. He'll probably toe the mound again this weekend. Keep an eye on him.
Loyola Marymount (1-3) at San Jose State (2-3)
Don't get fooled by LMU's current record. The losses have been against quality competition (TCU and USC). They've had good pitching in past seasons but it may be down a bit this season. They did, however, keep their heads above water in the lost games. The lone win was against TCU with J.D. Busfield getting the win and he's a good one. San Jose State got swept by the Lions to open last year so I'm sure they want to return the favor. The Spartans have been getting decent starting pitching but they've been spotty in both hitting and in the pen. Again, I don't know what to say about this series. The Spartans have shown they are improved but, how much?
Air Force (4-0) and Navy (3-0) in North Carolina
Somebody's got to lose in this rivalry series. The Falcons look pretty good as both hitting and pitching are doing well but against less than stellar competition. But, they're wins. Navy's wins also came against a team that doesn't have a big history in baseball. North Carolina A&T got themselves hammered in the three games with the Middies. They were 10-36 last season so, again, not a lot to be gathered from their sweep of the Bulldogs.
West Virginia (2-1) at UNLV (1-2)
The Mountaineers are usually a pretty good team so this could be a good series. WVU started their season by winning two of three against Charleston Southern, another school of which I know little. The big thing here is that the Mountaineers are a member of the Big 12 which says something. They were 9-17 last season in the Big 12 and 27-27 overall. The Rebels have been tested in Texas and came away with a win but got beaten soundly in the final two games of that series. Sounds like two evenly matched squads to me.
Youngstown State (1-2) at Fresno State (4-0)
The Penguins (I didn't make that up) lost two of three against Western Kentucky and could have easily lost all three as the one win was 8-7 in overtime but win they did. Western Kentucky Fresno State's win have been all at home against Creighton and Oakland. The Creighton wins were good ones so I'm thinking they could do well in this series. The strength has been the Bulldogs starting pitching, so far.
Nevada (3-2) at UC Irvine (2-3)
The Anteaters opened their season splitting four games with MWC foe San Jose State and then losing to San Diego State. Good for the MWC and a good Nevada showing against a decent Big West teams is always good. I think that's possible as the Pack won at Arizona State and took the last two from Northwestern so they're on a roll. Pitching has been pretty good and so has the hitting. Let's see what happens on the road in Irvine.
San Diego State (1-4) hosts a tournament along with San Diego
The Aztecs were handled easily by Oregon and by San Diego in their one game. The lone win was against Irvine (see above) 4-2 on the road. I think they are better than the record indicates. A lot of teams in the tournament. Kentucky (30-25 in 2015 and #22 now), UC Santa Barbara (40-17 and a tournament team), Arizona (31-24 and now coached by former Nevada coach), Tulane (35-25), Nebraska (34-23), Bryant (29-25) and San Diego (33-22). These were all pretty good teams last season so I'm thinking this should be one heck of a tournament.