MWC Recap of 3/13/16 Weekend Games
There were only two MWC series this past weekend. Three other teams were playing OOC games with FSU and TAMU playing the best of the lot. It ended poorly for the Bulldogs although two of the games were decided by one run. In the MWC series there were no sweeps which tells me it's going to be a close race this year. Fresno State appears to be the leader but we'll see.
New Mexico (2-1) at Nevada (1-4)
The Lobos still had bruises from the debacle of the Dallas Baptist series but they seem to have recovered. They took two of three from the Wolf Pack and some pitching showed up. Game one was pretty much settled in the third inning when the Lobos plated 5 runs and won 8-3. Lefty Carson Schneider (3-1) pitched a complete game and became the winningest pitcher in the MWC. I know, that means squat right now, but three wins is something. He's not a strikeout pitcher (15 in 27 IP) but he does go deep into games, has good size, and he's a lefty. He's a junior so he may be gone after this year if he keeps it up. Conversely, Nevada's Christian Stolo (0-4) went 6 inefffective innings. I don't know where last year's Stolo is hiding. Carl Stajduhar went 4-5 and Jake Zoellner and Andre Vigil both had home runs to pace the Lobos. Game two was a pitcher's duel and was scoreless going into the top of the seventh when New Mexico scored three runs to win 3-2. Tyler Stevens (2-1) went 7 2/3 strong innings to get the win. Nevada won the getaway game 7-6 by just staying ahead of the Lobos. Chris DeVito and Carl Stajduhar both hit their 4th home runs. DeVito is still hitting a ton at .453 and he's a junior, too. Yep, he may be gone. The combination of power and BA is too hard to ignore. Stajduhar went 3-4 and had 4 RBIs. Yes, he's a good one. Coach has him for at least one more year. The Pack's Trenton Brooks (1-3) got the win by going 5 and gave up only 2 earned runs. Here's an oddity; he went 0-4 and had three RBIs. Think how that can be done. Remember the old editorial (I guess) in the Sporting News or, was it the Saturday Evening Post called "So You Think You Know Baseball"? See what you can come up with.
Air Force (9-4, 3-1) at San Jose State (6-9, 2-3)
Rain has been beating down on the west coast and I hear no complaints. More, they need more. Just don't wash away homes. Anyway, these two teams got in two games on Saturday with Sunday's washed out. They split which, to me, says a lot about the Spartans' growth. Air Force is good and for the Spartans to win one game and be in the other spells good times ahead. Maybe. I hope so. We'll see. The Falcons won game one rather easily 7-2 behind the solid pitching of Griffin Jax (3-1). See, another 3-1 pitcher and I believe more than ever that the MWC is a pitching conference this eyar. Anyway, 8 strikeouts, no runs, and only 3 walks in 6 IP. Josh Nashed (0-3) took the loss and he's got to find himself soon. The Falcons' Adam Groesbeck went 3-4 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs to lead Air Force. The Spartans' David Campbell is starting to heat up a bit as he went 2-4 in a losing cause. The Spartans took the other game 9-5 as they put up 6 runs in the bottom of the first which pretty much settled the issue. Then again, a lot of runs scored early sometimes means a comeback win by the opposition unless you can continue to add on, which they did. Reliever Hilario Tovar (I love that name) evens his record at 2-2 with two good innings and Matt Brown gets his first save. Bradley Haslam went 4-5 for Air Force and David Campbell went 3-4 with 2 RBIs. As an aside, San Jose State's Shane Timmons continues to hit. He went 1-3 with an RBI and a run which puts his BA at .397 and his streak at 10 games.
Ohio State (7-6-1) at UNLV (7-7)
A weird series this is. Four games with three over the typical baseball weekend and then a single game Tuesday. In game one the Rebels scored in only one inning but it was enough as they put up 5 in the bottom of the fourth to win 5-2. DJ Myers (1-0) went 6 IP to get the win. The Buckeyes exposed the Rebels' pitching in winning 20-3. The one surprise to me, other than the score, was how starter Dean Kremer (0-2) got hammered. He went two plus innings giving up 9 hits and seven runs. Something ain't right with him. Scouts are watching but he keeps unraveling. The Rebels come back after the ugly defeat and win the third game 8-7. I can't play favorites here as the Buckeyes' Ronnie Dawson hit two home runs and had 3 runs as well as 5 RBIs. That gave him 3 home runs in the three games played. Not bad, kid. The Buckeyes committed 5 errors which resulted in five earned runs. Defense doesn't win games? Really? Kenny Oakley (2-2) evens his record with a pretty good 6 IP and no earned runs. The Rebels had 2 errors of their own that caused 4 runs to happen. Pitchers love that.
Fresno State (11-5) at Texas A&M (15-1)
Two good teams showed up to play three games and two were good games. The Dawgs have lost five in a row after winning 11 in a row. TAMU is now 15-1 so they seem to be the real deal. Oh, yeah, they are, as D1Baseball has them at number 3 in the rankings between Vandy and Oregon State. The mutts lost the first well-played game 3-2 as both starter did well. Ricky Thomas (2-1) pitched his heart out in going the distance giving up only 5 hits, 3 runs, and striking out 9. Game of the week, I'd say. All this in front of 4200 fans. San Jose State doesn't get that in a season. Well, maybe they do but you get my point. Pinch hitter and DH Aaron Arruda went 3-4 with a home run for the visitors. In a game that was tied at 2 going into the 10th inning, the Dawgs pushed a run across in their half only to lose it in heart-breaking fashion as a two out double scored the winning run for Texas A&M. Ouch. Jimmy Lambert went 5 2/3 IP striking out 7 and giving up only one run. The guy's doing all his coach is asking. The third game was an ugly 12-1 as no one hit (ok, they got three hits) and no one pitched. Let's go home, guys.
Northwestern (5-11) at San Diego State (4-11)
This series was the antithesis of the Fresno State series above. Two struggling programs with Northwestern getting hit pretty badly along its western travels. The Aztecs took two of three in a series that didn't highlight pitching. Both teams seemed to score at will. Game one was won by SDSU 11-6 as the fireworks didn't really happen until both starting pitchers were no longer in the game. The Wildcats scored all their runs in the last three innings and the Aztecs scored 10 of theirs in their last two at bats. I don't think coach can have a lot of confidence in his pen right about now. San Diego State's Harrison Pyatt went 6 2/3 IP giving up one run and striking out 6. A good outing with nothing to show for it but coach's appreciation. Alan Trejo went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs to pace the winners. Dean Nevarez went 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs and a home run. Northwestern evened the series by winning game two 13-7. Again, not much pitching. Dean Nevarez went 3-4 in a losing cause. Game three featured more offense as the Aztecs won 15-10. This was accomplished mostly by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the fourth and 4 more in the bottom of the sixth. You'd think that would be more than enough but pitching for both sides just wasn't there today. Alan Trejo went 4-5 this game which gave him 9 hits in the series. That was enough to garner him POW for the MWC. One more game to go.