Will Fireworks Continue in Albuquerque?
That was quite a showing by both New Mexico and Air Force this past weekend. Pitching took a holiday as Air Force had troubles getting anyone out. Do I think they are horrible? Nooooo. I just think they ran into a buzz saw. The Falcons scored a lot also but simply couldn't keep up. San Jose State will take on the Lobos this weekend with a vastly improved pitching staff. This series could prove very interesting, indeed. An improved pitching staff against a juggernaut. Hmm. The Aztecs showed me a lot by sweeping a down Cal Poly squad. Hey, it's a Big West team and that's all I've to say about that. Nevada has yet to find its stride but home cooking might help. Fresno State is doing ok but should get healthy against Eastern Michigan. Air Force may do the same against UNLV. Anyway, in my book, the SJS and Lobos is the series to watch.
San Jose State (6-5, 2-1) at New Mexico (7-3, 3-0)
The Spartans are coming off a good opening Mountain West series against UNLV. In particular, the pen certainly earned praise by shutting down the Rebels in 8+ innings of relief in the Sunday game after falling behind 5-0 in the first inning. There were rain delays and that can upset starting pitching and I think it did here. Anyway, they took two of three. The pitching (3.33) is certainly holding up but the hitting (.213) still has some catching up to do. They'll need the motor running on all cylinders to take down the Lobos. Ah, yes, the Lobos. They are certainly are offensive. They scored 59 in three games with Air Force. But, the pitching (6.25) gave up a bunch, too. The team is hitting (.337) and they have two hitters over .400 with Luis Gonzalez (.537 and 1) leading the way. Pitching is at 6.25 which is not good and the starters are having a tough time of it. The Spartans have to make certain they don't fall behind early which they've been doing. They won't be able to do that against the Lobos and expect to survive. The Lobos might just have a bit too much.
SDSU (8-4, 0-0) at Nevada (3-8, 1-2)
The Aztecs are coming off an impressive sweep of Cal Poly in which they had two shutouts. They are getting both hitting (.289) and pitching (3.79). Starting pitching has been especially impressive with Brett Seeburger (2-0 and 2.16) and Jacob Erickson (0-1 and 2.45) doing well. That helps to put the offense in the driver's seat if the rotation can shut down the opposition. They also have one of the premier closers in the Mountain West in CJ Saylor (1-0 and 0.00 in 8 IP and 4 saves). The Wolfpack comes off a 1-2 series with Fresno State and, overall, are still struggling. Both hitting (.256) and pitching (6.73) are subpar so this series could go in any direction. No favorites here but the Aztecs' starting pitching looks pretty good.
Eastern Michigan (2-11) at Fresno State (6-5, 2-1)
A snow belt team that is not doing very well. Coming out to Fresno to hopefully get well is not a good prescription. It’s hard to find much in the way of positives when a team is struggling so at 2-11. Warmer weather might help but they’ve been on the road for all their games so far. You’ve heard me whine before about the lot of a snow belt team. The Bulldogs should be doing better but I suspect coach is not that worried as he does have pretty good pitching upon which to rely. Freshman Davis Moore has shown he can do the job at this level.
Air Force (4-6, 0-3) at UNLV (5-7, 1-2)
Here are two teams that want to stop the bleeding. Air Force has the most to prove as they got absolutely hammered this past weekend by New Mexico. They scored, but not enough to avoid getting swept. The Rebels are about where I would have expected them to be at this point as coach still has some tweaking to do with his pitching. Larry Quaney, Alan Strong, and Garrett Poole have held up their end of the deal. Now, if the pen can come around. The team is hitting over .300 so this series could be another offensive showcase.