So, the race for the coveted ring started Friday. New Mexico faced Dallas Baptist in their first game. Yes, these two have a lot of history even in this season where the Patriots beat up on the Lobos and swept a three game series back in early March. There was little good to be had in those games so, based on those games, New Mexico didn't stand much of a chance. The other side of that coin is that neither of these teams is the same as when they faced each other back in March; no team is and that showed in the game as New Mexico beat a very good Dallas Baptist team 12-6. Luis Gonzalez and Chris DeVito were the big hitters and DeVito just keeps whacking away as he has all year. The Lobos are now in the winners' bracket and face the Texas Tech team which is the host of this regional (Lubbock). Fairfield will be facing the loser of the upcoming New Mexico - Texas Tech battle.
Other comments. The west really got snubbed this year. No regionals in this part of the US. None. Nothing to do but rage and show the college baseball world that was not a smart thing to do, and, so far, that is what happened. Western teams (mid-major and big boys alike) have won. Utah beat top seed Ole Miss, Long Beach beat Florida Atlantic, UC Santa Barbara beat Washington, New Mexico beat Dallas Baptist, Fullerton State beat Louisiana Tech, and Gonzaga beat Arizona State. That's damned good considering all teams are good to great once the tournament starts. The only losing team was Saint Mary's which is too bad, as they have had a great season after years of mediocrity. Anyway, the west is certainly showing folks they shouldn't be snubbed. Then again, none of the teams had a record good enough to be a host in my estimation. The biggest win of the bunch is Utah taking out Ole Miss on the Rebels' home field (they still call them the Rebels, right?). By the way, three games had been suspended or postponed to today due to weather and all were in the southeast; Baton Rouge, Oxford, and Nashville. It will be interesting to see how large a role weather will play in those regionals. Anyway, the west is doing well. Can they keep it going?