WAC Baseball Tournament – Round One Recap and Round Two Preview

2008 WAC Baseball TournamentGAME ONE – #1 FRESNO STATE VS. #6 SACRAMENTO STATE

Fresno State defeated Sacramento State 3-2 in the first round of the WAC Baseball Championship Tournament on Thursday. The Bulldogs struck first blood in the first inning taking a 1-0 lead on a Steve Susdorf RBI single as Grand Hedstrom scored from from second. Sacramento State tied the game up in the fourth inning on a Tim Wheeler single that brought home Gabe Jacobo from second base. The Bulldogs would take the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring two runs off a Ryan Overland double as Tommy Mendonca and Alan Ahmady both scored on the play. Sacramento State would add one run to bring the Hornets to within one run but that was as close as they would get and Fresno State would hold Sacramento State scoreless over the final two innings.

Fresno State’s Justin Wilson picked up the win going seven innings and Fresno State’s Brandon Burke picked up the save. Trevor York picks up the loss for Sacramento State as he also went seven innings giving up all three runs.

Fresno State will now take on San Jose State in an elimination game for San Jose State. Sacramento State will face New Mexico State in an elimination game for both teams.

GAME TWO – #2 HAWAI’I VS. #5 NEW MEXICO STATE

New Mexico State struck first in the top of the fourth off of a Joe Scaperotta solo home run, his 23rd of the year. Hawai’i answered right back in the bottom of the inning when Greg Garcia scored on a Brandon Haislet single. Hawai’i scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth before a 1 hour and 42 minute storm delay halted play. After play resumed the Warriors tacked on one more run to take a 4-1 lead. The Warrior offense exploded in the bottom of the 7th inning scoring six runs to take a 10-1 lead into the eighth inning. New Mexico State’s offense got out of its drought and scored six runs highlighted by a pinch hit grand slam by Leo Aguirre. For Aguirre it was his second grand slam against Hawai’i this season. The Aggies came tantalizingly close to tying the game in the eighth but a hard hit fly ball by the Aggies’ home run leader Joe Scaperotta was caught on the warning track by right fielder Jeff Van Doornum. Hawai’i added one run in the bottom of the eighth to take an 11-7 lead into the ninth. The Aggies’ Frankie Busani flied out to right field with two men on base to end the game and the Aggies’ hopes for a rally.

Hawai’i pitcher Nick Rhodes picks up the win going seven innings giving up just one run striking out six. Heath Goin takes the loss going 4.2 innings giving up four runs. Goin did not return after the storm delay.

New Mexico State will now face Sacramento State tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. CDT in the tournament’s first elimination game. Hawai’i will face Nevada at 7:00 p.m. CDT.

GAME THREE – #3 NEVADA VS. #4 SAN JOSE STATE

Nevada shook off the season ending sweep at the hands of San Jose State and rocked the Spartans 11-0 in a run-rule shortened game in the first round of the WAC tournament. The Wolf Pack scored one run in the 2nd inning off a Tyson Jaquez home run to lead off the inning. The Pack struck again in the 5th inning on a Kevin Rodland home run to start off the inning. In the next inning the Nevada offense exploded for nine runs as Tyson Jaquez homered again, this time it was a two run blast and then Jacquez homered again in the inning, again a two run blast two drive in the 10th and 11th runs. San Jose could not put any runs on the board in the top of the seventh and the game was called on the run-rule.

Rod Scurry picks up the win for the Wolf Pack going seven strong innings allowing only three hits and striking out three Spartans. Max Peterson gets the loss as he went five innings giving up seven runs on six hits giving up three home runs.

Nevada will now face 2-seed Hawai’i at 7:00 p.m. CDT. San Jose State faces an elimination game versus top seed Fresno State at 3:00 p.m. CDT.

DAY TWO PREVIEW

GAME ONE – 11:00 A.M. CDT

#5 New Mexico State vs. #6 Sacramento State
New Mexico State took all four games of the regular season series in Sacramento winning 7-4, 5-3, 11-5 and 14-4.

This elimination game comes early for both teams and could be the day’s best game.

Prediction: NMSU over Sacramento State

GAME TWO – 3:00 P.M. CDT

#1 Fresno State vs. #4 San Jose State
Fresno State and San Jose State met two weekends ago in Fresno, CA with Fresno State taking three of four from the Spartans. Fresno State won games one, two and three 11-3, 9-8 and 5-3 before falling in the finale 2-1.

Fresno State was pushed to the brink by 6-seed Sacramento State but should have an easier time against San Jose State which was shelled by the Wolf Pack in the first round.

Prediction: Fresno State over San Jose State

GAME THREE – 7:00 P.M. CDT

#2 Hawai’i vs. #3 Nevada
Hawai’i and Nevada faced off in Honolulu midseason and Hawai’i took the series 3-1 which proved to be the important tie-breaker at season’s end giving the Warriors the 2-seed. Hawai’i took game one 10-4, won game two 13-3 in a run-rule shortened game, then lost game three 4-3 and won the series finale 4-0.

This should be the game of the day as both teams put up huge offensive days in the first round against their opponents.

Prediction: Nevada over Hawai’i