WAC Recap – Week Two

New Mexico State's Leo Aguirre
New Mexico State's Leo Aguirre

Fresno State. Fresno State lost two of three against the Oregon Ducks in Eugene this weekend. In game one on Friday the Bulldogs lost a pitching duel 1-0 on Friday. Oregon’s Andrew Schmidt hit a walk-off single with two outs giving the Ducks the victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,777. Holden Sprague pitched 7.2 innings giving up just four hits and walking just one.

On Saturday Oregon’s bats pushed them to a 7-1 victory over Fresno State. The Ducks scored two runs in the bottom of the second, three in the bottom of the third and added single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh. Fresno State starter Sean Bonesteele lasted just 2.1 innings giving up five runs, all earned and allowed five hits. He also walked four batters.

The two teams concluded the three game series on Sunday with the defending national champions’ offense finally getting going. Preseason All-American Tommy Mendonca hit two home runs for the Bulldogs as they took the game 10-3.

Fresno State is now 3-4 on the season after the weekend series.

New Mexico State. Beat Chicago State 28-2 on Friday afternoon. The Aggies hit a school record 10 home runs in the blitzing of the Cougars. Through four innings the Aggies had hit seven home runs, two by junior Leo Aguirre, two by senior Bryan Marquez and two by junior college transfer Mike Sodders.

The Aggies won both games of the doubleheader against Chicago State winning the first game 13-6 and the second game 15-0 in seven innings. In game two Daniel Simon pitched six scoreless innings and Justin Cooper finished off the top of the seventh, striking out the side to end the game.

On Sunday the Aggies were pushed in the early going by Chicago State as they fell behind 2-1 after two innings. However, the Aggie offense, as it had done all series, came alive scoring in every inning but the second as they posted 20 runs and 23 hits.

The Aggies are 7-0 on the season, their best start since the 2003 season when they started 9-0. The Aggies also began the 2004 season at 6-0.

Sacramento State. The Hornets lost to Cal Poly 9-2 as the Mustangs broke open a close 4-2 game with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Hornets collected eight hits but could muster just two runs.

In game two of the series on Saturday, the Hornets fell 11-5 to the Mustangs. Preseason All-WAC centerfielder Tim Wheeler went 2-4 on the day and collected two RBIs but it wasn’t enough as Cal Poly held a commanding once again broke open a tight game 5-4 game with a five run sixth inning to give themselves a 10-4 cushion. Each team would add one more run for the final score of 11-5.

In the final game of the series the Hornets were unable to escape the sweep as Cal Poly downed them 6-2. The Hornets recorded just four hits in the game but were tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when the Mustangs stung the Hornets for the third straight game with a five run inning to break open another tight game. The Hornets would add a run in the top of the seventh but would get no closer.

Sacramento State is now 1-5 on the season but their lone victory is over Arizona.

Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs hosted McNeese State for a weekend series. The two teams played a doubleheader Saturday with McNeese State taking both games by finals of 10-5 and 16-6. The losses were the first of the season for the Bulldogs. In the first game of the doubleheader the Bulldogs could muster only four hits and were unable to capitalize on four McNeese State errors. McNeese State pounded out 14 hits and led 10-0 heading into the top of the seventh innings. The Bulldogs added one run in the top of the seventh and four in the top of the ninth but it was too little too late.

In game two of the doubleheader it was all tied up at 6-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Bulldogs quickly got the first two outs and looked ready to head to the top of the ninth when McNeese State exploded for 10 runs to steal the game away from the Bulldogs. The nightmarish inning saw the Cowboys score 10 runs on just four hits with La. Tech committing one error in the inning.

In the final game of the series on Sunday, the Bulldogs and Cowboys were locked in another tight game with McNeese State leading 6-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Cowboys plated two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. La. Tech’s first two batters in the ninth went down quickly but the Bulldogs loaded the bases before hitting into a force-out at second base to end the game.

The Bulldogs are now 4-3 on the season after the three losses to McNeese State.

San Jose State. The Spartans hosted Santa Clara for a weekend series and they took game one from the visiting Broncos 5-4. Santa Clara led 3-1 after three inning but the Spartans would score runs in each of the next three innings to give themselves a 5-3 lead. Santa Clara would get one run in the top of the ninth but San Jose State would close the door on the comeback attempt.

On Saturday San Jose State once again defeated Santa Clara this time by a final of 10-7. San Jose State quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top half of the first inning but Santa Clara would cut the Spartan lead to 4-3 after three innings. After three scoreless innings of play, San Jose State put three runs on the board in the top of the seventh, however, the Broncos would answer right back with three runs of their own. SJSU would plate one run in the top of the eighth but once again, Santa Clara would answer the run. The game went into the ninth inning at 8-7 and San Jose State would score two insurance runs and after the leadoff batter for the Broncos reached base, the Spartans would send the next three batters down in order to preserve the victory.

The final game of the series was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be rescheduled but a makeup date has not yet been announced. San Jose State’s 6-0 start is their best since the 1997 season, an 8-0 start.

Nevada. Nevada traveled west to San Diego for the San Diego tournament. In their first game of the tournament on Friday they lost 10-2 to Kansas State. The Wildcats broke open a scoreless game in the top of the fifth with seven runs. The Wolf Pack would score on run in the bottom of the inning but KSU added two more in the top of the sixth to put their lead to 9-1. Nevada added one final run in the bottom of the sixth but Kansas State would answer that run to push the score to 10-2 which would be the final margin of victory.

On day two of the tournament, Nevada lost a heartbreaker to #17 San Diego. The Bulldogs built a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning but the Toreros would earn a walk off victory on a single by Zach Walters, who came into the game in the top of the eighth inning.

The Wolf Pack took on the Toreros again on the final day of the tournament but this time there would be no last inning heroics needed by the tournament host. Nevada fell behind early 6-2 but scored runs in the the top of the sixth and top of the eighth inning to pull to within 6-4. However, the Toreros sent the Wolf Pack packing in order in the top of the ninth to seal the win.

The Wolf Pack is now 2-5 on the season after the San Diego Tournament.

Hawai’i. The Warriors made the long trip mainland to Minneapolis to take part in the Dairy Queen Classic. The Warriors shook off the jet lag and earned a walk off victory overĀ  Washington 3-2 in their first game on Friday. Washington lead 2-1 after five innings but Hawai’i tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth on a Kevin Macdonald home run. It was Macdonald who led off in the bottom of the ninth when he singled to center field. After a ground out to the pitcher, Macdonald advanced to second on a bunt and then to third on a wild pitch. Catcher Landon Hernandez then took advantage of the opportunity and singled to center field to drive in Macdonald for the game winning run.

In game two of the tournament for the Warriors on Saturday they took on UC-Santa Barbara. The Gauchos jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and never looked back. Hawai’i would score runs in the top of the fourth and top of the sixth but those runs were negated by UCSB’s two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Hawai’i would add two runs in the top of the eighth but UCSB’s run in the bottom of the seventh and two runs in the bottom of the eighth would ensure there would be no last inning heroics from the Warriors.

In the final game of the tournament for the Warriors they took on host Minnesota on Sunday. The Warriors lost a heartbreaker 5-4 as they took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth. The Warriors allowed two runners to get on base with one out but looked to be in good shape as closer Josh Slaats got Minnesota catcher Kyle Knudson to strike out. However, with two out Gopher center fielder Eric Decker singled to drive in a run cutting the Warriors’ lead to 4-3. The next batter, Minnesota left fielder Jon Hummel singled to drive in the game winning runs.

Preseason WAC Pitcher of the Year Jared Alexander took the mound for the first time this season getting the starting nod and allowed one run in four innings of work.

Hawai’i is now 3-5 on the season.