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Mountain West Baseball Recap for 3/20/2016

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There were no dominating performances in the MWC over the weekend but then again Air Force's Tyler Jones hit three home runs in a game highlighted by wind and snow. One game was postponed and one was suspended in Colorado Springs. New Mexico swept by San Jose State and Fresno State took two of three from UNLV as the best teams continue to win.

Tyler Jones hit three dingers in the one game played between Air Force and SDSU
Tyler Jones hit three dingers in the one game played between Air Force and SDSU
Mike Kaplan

MWC Baseball Recap for Past Weekend

Well, no more basketball to wring our collective hands in disbelief and frustration. Now, we can do that for baseball. New Mexico and Air Force fans are happy as those two teams sit at the top of the standings. Fresno State follows closely at 4-2 and UNLV is right in the middle at 3-3. Then it's SJS with SDSU holding up the conference on its shoulders. Plenty of ball left. I think the top three now will be the top three at the end but who knows in which order? Stay tuned.

San Jose State (2-6) at New Mexico (5-1)

The Spartans flew in to Albuquerque thinking they had a good chance to take two of three from the Lobos, maybe. The Lobos' pitching had struggled, as had the Spartans', but a little luck was all they needed, maybe. They didn't get it. The Lobos got the usual hitting and a surprising amount of good pitching. The wins were by 9-6, 3-2, and 11-1 for the sweep. The Spartans scored some in the first game but the Lobos scored more. Pitching was the name of the game in the next two as the Lobos allowed only three runs total. Carl Stajduhar went 1-2 with a home run and three RBIs to help the Lobos' cause. The Spartans' pitching did poorly in this one. Starter Logan Handzlik walked five in 2 1/3 IP which did him in. Even so, the game was tied at six going into the bottom of the eighth. The leadoff batter was walked and that always spells disaster. Sure enough, three runs scored and the game was done. Spartans' pitchers walked eight and the Lobos walked one. Need I say more? Game two was a 3-2 Lobos' victory and the Spartans outhit the Lobos 10 to 6 but it didn't matter. The Spartans' Matt Brown (1-2) took the loss as he walked 3 and hit 3. Those are six free runners. Conversely, the Lobos walked one and that was it. Starter Tyler Stevens (3-1) got the win with 8 innings of good pitching. The Spartans didn't show up for game three in which the game was only 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Lobos scored 7 runs then and 2 in the eighth to salt this one away. Josh Nashed (0-4) pitched well into the seventh but then tired (I'm guessing here) and the pen threw gas on the fire. The Spartans had only 5 hits so the offense didn't help. The final should have been 2-1 but that's show biz. Colton Thomson (2-1) pitched a strong 8 IP and things look good for the Lobos.

San Diego State (1-3) at Air Force (4-1)

Only one game made it through alive in this series. Did I tell you it snowed up to 6 inches in some spots in this area? We received about 2 inches in Loveland and you always get a lot more as you head south. Cold, wind, snow; great weather for baseball. Schedulers need to be aware of what goes on out here before setting up these games. If these two play again in San Diego, maybe they should have switched venues and dates, if you get my drift, snow drift that is. Say that like Foghorn Leghorn would. One of my favorites. Anyway the one game ended up 17-13 with Air Force winners. Five home runs with three by Tyler Jones which resulted in 6 RBIs and another hit there too. Don't tell me it's not a wind tunnel. He's good but not Kris Bryant good. 32 total hits, 30 runs, five hitters with 3 or more hits. Amazingly Griffin Jax (4-1) went 6 decent innings for the win. The Falcons scored 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth and the Aztecs scored 9 in the top of the seventh to keep them in the game. A pitching coach's nightmare. The second game was suspended in the eighth inning with the Falcons leading 10-7. Not surprisingly, it will be concluded in San Diego. Well, duh.

UNLV (3-3) at Fresno State (4-2)

The Dawgs win the series two games to one but I feel they also showed a bit of vulnerability. They didn't dominate as the hitting was just enough and the pitching was ok which was not surprising. However, the Rebels are scuffling this year and this was a home series. Anyway...... The first game was taken by the Rebels by 4-2 as the got a good start from D.J. Myers (2-0) who went 7 IP. Ben Wright closed it out for his fourth save. Big first baseman Corey Pool did all the heavy lifting by going 2 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBIs. It was all they needed. Game two was essentially over by the bottom of the second inning with Fresno State leading 3-1 with the final score 6-2. Dean Kremer (0-3) pitched well enough to lose as he gave up all the runs in his 5 IP. Jimmy Lambert (4-0) got his fourth win with 6 innings of good work and only 1 run along with 9 strike outs. He's good. The Rebels lost a heartbreaker 4-3 as the mutts score a run in the bottom of the ninth to break the tie. Brody Russell went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs with one of them the winner. A good game but someone has to lose.

St. John's (8-9-1) at Nevada (7-12)

This was a series where I thought the Wolf Pack might have problems against this snow belt team. Well, for the most part, they didn't. Game one was not a game as Nevada pasted the Redstorm 12-1. Christian Stolo (1-4) went 7 good innings and finally gets a win. The winners were paced by Grant Fennell, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs, and Justin Bridgman, who went 0 for 3 with 3 RBIs. What? How? Whatever, three RBIs. You figure it out. The Wolf Pack took game two in dominating fashion 5-1 as they scored all their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Trevor Charpie (1-1) went 5 IP for the win with 3 strike outs and no walks. The Redstorm gets some measure of revenge and satisfaction by winning the getaway game 10-3. St. John's shortstop Jesse Berardi was the big star as he went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs, 2 runs, and a home run for the visitors. Trenton Brooks (1-3) took the loss.