Nevada Making its Presence Felt in Baseball Race
I'm gone two weeks and things have changed. To my way of thinking, the sweeping of Air Force by Fresno State was a big one. The Bulldogs' pitching silenced the Falcons' big bats. Again, to me, that was not a big surprise. I like Air Force but I think all that hitting is a home field thing. Nevada is making noise as they swept an inept SDSU squad in San Diego. New Mexico got handed a big case of whup ass as they were swept by a very good Arizona State. No shame in that, really, but I'm sure the Lobos don't see it that way. Those are the three sweeps. UNLV went north to San Jose and came away with a 2-1 series win. Even that one win by the Spartans got them out of the cellar even though the percentages say otherwise.
Nevada (13-8) at SDSU (5-14)
The Wolf Pack takes all three games in this matchup thereby throwing themselves into the race. They scored 6 runs in the top of the second to win going away, 8-5. TJ Friedl and Jordan Pearce paced the winners with home runs. Christian Stolo (3-5) got the win with 6 innings of decent results. The second game was all Trevor Charpie (4-3) as he threw a one-hitter in winning 5-0. He struck out only one with a good mixture of fly balls and ground balls which kept the fielders on their toes. That's a good thing. The Aztecs got their lone hit in the second inning so there was little drama in this one but just a case of, oh, so close. Game three featured Nevada scoring all their runs in the first five innings to win easily, 13-9. Yeah, I know, nine runs but five were scored in garbage time; the ninth inning. Bryce Greager led the Pack with a home run and 3 RBIs. Trenton Brooks (4-5) went 6 innings for the win.
Fresno State (17-7) at Air Force (9-13)
This series had to be played in Grand Juncion, Colorado due to inclement weather. Actually, inclement doesn't do it justice. It was more of winter making a last blast of snow, wind, and cold before calling it quits. I live out here and was wondering what they were going to do. They changed venue which didn't help the fly boys much. Because Friday's game got screwed up they just played a doubleheader on Saturday. The first game was a back and forth affair eventually won by the mutts 11-6. Sounds not very close but it was tied at 6 when the Dawgs scored four runs in the top of the seventh and Air Force had no answer. Tim Borst (8th save) went 3 shutout innings relieving starter Ricky Tyler Thomas (7-3). The Bulldogs got 18 hits from the offense and they needed it. They were paced by Jesse Medrano's four hits but Jake Stone, Aaron Arruda, and Austin Guibor all had three hits. Lots of offense. The Falcons' pitching didn't really hold up in this one and Russell Williams' home run was their offensive high light. Game two was 5-1 in favor of the Dawgs and Jimmy Lambert (9-0) went 6 good innings for the win. Austin Guibor had a home run and 3 RBIs to pace Fresno State and Bradley Haslam had a home run for the offense. Game three also featured Fresno State's pitching as they completed the sweep winning 4-2. Freshman Edgar Gonzalez went 5 strong innings but didn't get the win but the pen sucked it up and finished off the Falcons. The Falcons' Trent Monaghan went 7 strong innings and deserved better than the no decision he got. Austin Guibor hit another home run for the winners. The Falcons sure could have used the offense that has been there most of the year. This puts a serious crimp in their post season hopes and Fresno State keeps rolling.
New Mexico (30-16) at Arizona State (26-15)
This was a match between two very good teams and the Lobos got smacked down. Game one was over before it even started as they were down 6-0 after two innings losing 9-5 and only 3 inconsequential runs in the ninth inning made it appear close. Ace Carson Schneider (7-2) just didn't have it this day but he stuck it out and went 6 innings in absorbing the loss. The strength of this squad is the middle of the lineup and only Chris DeVito's single kept the big three from being shut out. Oh, and six strike outs among them also. Ouch. Same story in game two; down 5-0 after four innings while losing 7-4 and two runs in the ninth made it respectable. No real high lights. The third game was one for the ages as the Lobos lose a heart breaker 1-0 as the Sun Devils score a run in the bottom of the ninth to win it. The Lobos managed just three hits so not much of a threat for the nine innings but the Sun Devils only had 4 hits themselves. This one was all pitching. Colton Thomson went 7 fabulous innings with 3 hits allowed and no runs along with no walks (!) and 7 strikeouts. Tough loss.
UNLV (10-11) at San Jose State (6-18)
The Rebels got off on the right foot by trouncing the Spartans in game one 12-0. Just a case of everything right for the Rebs and nothing right for the Spartans. Twenty hits to five. That says it all. Freshman Kyle Isbel led the onslaught by going 4 for 6 and Andrew Yazdanbakhsh (that's hard to type) went 3 for 4. Corey Pool and Justin Jones also had three hits. Pool had has third home run. D. J. Myers (4-2) was magnificent on the mound as he went 7 IP with only the five hits given up. No one did well for the Spartans as Coach Nakama brought in the arms that haven't thrown much. By the way, the Rebels scored five in the top of the first to settle matters. Game two was won by the Spartans 5-3 in come from behind fashion. Josh Nashed went 4 for 4 and Shane Timmons went 3 for 4. Starting pitcher Hilario Tovar went 6 good innings but didn't figure in the final score. The rubber match went to UNLV in extra innings. The Rebels' pitching staff kept the Spartans at bay allowing only 7 hits with only Josh Nashed and Joe Stefanki getting multiple hits with two each. Very little offense by either team as the Rebels scored a single run in the eleventh inning to win 3-2 and go home winners. Payton Squier led the Rebels with three hits. If the Spartans could get any pitching at all, they might have a winning record as the hitting is getting down right good. The pitching has been this year's downfall as it has been the last four or five years. Until that's fixed, it will be more of the same for the boys in blue.