WAC Weekend Preview – Week Two (Part I)

Courtesy: Nevada
Courtesy: Nevada

The first weekend of WAC conference play is in the books and there are three teams tied atop the league. New Mexico State, Hawai’i and Nevada all came away from last weekend’s opening series with 3-1 records. Defending conference champion Fresno State opens league play this weekend when they host #23 New Mexico State. Preseason 2nd place pick San Jose State is 1-3 as are Louisiana Tech and Sacramento State.

SERIES OF THE WEEK:
#23 Hawai’i (20-10, 3-1) at Nevada (14-16, 3-1)
Peccole Park, Reno, Nevada

The Warriors took three of four from visiting San Jose State last weekend and continue to be one of the league’s hottest teams. The Warriors are ranked 23rd in the Baseball America poll. Nevada opened up conference play on the road at Louisiana Tech and won three of four, winning the first three games but falling in the Sunday finale in a 17-14 slugfest.

Hawai’i and Nevada have the league’s two lowest batting averages and are both in the bottom of the league in runs scored so there may not be a lot of offense in this series. One advantage for the Warriors is that they don’t commit many errors with just 24 on the season. Nevada has committed 43 on the season.

Prediction: This will likely be a very low scoring series and as we mentioned Hawai’i has the defensive advantage. Hawai’i also played a midweek game against Santa Clara on the mainland and so adjusting to the new time zone should not be an issue for the Warriors. We think UH continues their hot play and takes three of four from the Wolf Pack.

Game One: Thu, Apr. 9th, 6:00 p.m. PST
Game Two: Fri, Apr. 10th, 6:00 p.m. PST
Game Three/Four: Sat, Apr. 11th 1:00 p.m. PST

Probable Starters:
G1
NEV, Brock Stassi (4-3, 3.73 ERA), UH, Jayson Kramer (2-3, 3.00 ERA)
G2 NEV, Chris Garcia (2-3, 5.40 ERA), UH, Jared Alexander (0-1, 5.87 ERA)
G3 NEV, Jayson McClaren (1-0, 4.08 ERA), UH, Matt Sisto (3-2, 3.26 ERA)
G4 NEV, Derek Achelpohl (2-3, 3.81 ERA), UH, TBA

Louisiana Tech (13-12, 1-3) at San Jose State (20-8, 1-3)

Blethen Field, San Jose, CA

The Spartans and Bulldogs each started the conference season off 1-3 as SJSU went on the road to Hawai’i and Louisana Tech hosted Nevada. San Jose State and Louisiana Tech are second and third respectively in the league in batting average. SJSU is hitting .335 while Louisiana Tech is hitting .311. Unlike the series between Nevada and Hawai’i, this one should see plenty of offense. San Jose State leads the league in pitching with the best ERA in the conference at 3.83. They’ve given up just 104 runs and their fielding has also been excellent as they’ve helped the club give up just nine unearned runs. Louisiana Tech has a conference worst 7.41 ERA, they also have the worst fielding percentage in the league having committed 41 errors on the season.

Prediction: On paper this is a clear mismatch with SJSU holding the upper hand. We think the series will play out this way as SJSU bounces back from their 1-3 opening weekend to take all four from Louisiana Tech.

Game One: Thu, Apr. 9th, 2:00 p.m. PST
Game Two: Fri, Apr. 10th, 2:00 p.m. PST
Game Three/Four: Sat, Apr. 11th 12:00 p.m. PST

Probable Starters:
G1
SJSU, David Berner (5-1, 2.41 ERA), LTU, TBA
G2 SJSU, Max Peterson (5-0, 2.91 ERA), TBA
G3 SJSU, TBA, UH, TBA
G4 SJSU, TBA, UH, TBA