WAC Weekend Preview – Week Two (Part II)

NM State pitcher Tyler Sturdevant
NM State pitcher Tyler Sturdevant

#23 New Mexico State (28-4, 3-1) at Fresno State (16-14, 0-0)
Pete Beiden Field, Fresno, CA

Defending WAC champion Fresno State opens up conference play against New Mexico State. The Aggies are already 3-1 on the young conference season after defeating Sacramento State three out of four in Las Cruces, N.M. Fresno State looks to open its title defense strong after struggling a bit in non-conference play. The Bulldogs have played the entire non-conference with every team taking its best shot as they face the defending national champions. That elevated play from opponents has left the Bulldogs with a 16-14 record entering conference play. Meanwhile, the Aggies have built a 28-4 record and have national ranking of 23rd in the Collegiate Baseball polls.

As of last weekend’s games the Aggies lead the nation in runs scored (12.3/g) and home runs (72) and are third in batting average (.372). The Aggies are also looking to extend their six game road winning streak which is currently tied for best in the country along with Georgia and Eastern Illinois. Fresno State is 5th in the league in batting average at .273 and is averaging 7.2 runs per game. Fresno State boasts the league’s third best ERA at 4.62.

The Fresno State pitching staff received a bit of bad news as starter Jake Floethe is done for the season. He was 4th in the league with a 2.65 ERA having pitched 37.1 innings and held a 3-1 record.

Prediction: The Aggies played well in Fresno last season winning three of the five games that were played in Fresno. Fresno State has won 70% of their regular season games over the past three seasons and aren’t quite ready to give up their crown. With New Mexico State’s improved defense and pitching as well as a diverse offense and the loss of Fresno State starter Jake Floethe, we think the Aggies take three of four from the defending league champions.

Game One: Fri, Apr. 10th, 6:05 p.m. PST
Game Two: Sat, Apr. 11th, 6:05 p.m. PST
Game Three: Sun, Apr. 12th, 2:05 p.m. PST
Game Four: Mon, Apr. 13th 6:05 p.m. PST

Probable Starters
G1
FSU, TBA, NM State, Tyler Sturdevant (4-2, 4.85 ERA)
G2 FSU, TBA, NM State, Daniel Simon (6-0, 3.38 ERA)
G3 FSU, TBA, NM State, Jared Jordan (4-0, 3.00 ERA)
G4 FSU, TBA, NM State, Sebastien Vendette (4-1, 3.88 ERA)

Utah Valley (10-21) at Sacramento State (17-12)
Hornet Field, Sacramento, CA

The Hornets step out of conference play this weekend as they’ll face Utah Valley on Friday for a doubleheader and then again on Saturday for a doubleheader. The Hornets are 17-12 on the season. Sacramento State holds a 6-3 series advantage all time against the Wolverines but Utah Valley defeated Sacramento State 7-2 in the last meeting which was part of last year’s River City Classic.

Prediction: The Hornets sweep the rare double doubleheader and head back into conference play on a strong note.

Probable Starters
G1
UVU, Cole Mickolio (1-2, 9.62 ERA), Sac. St.,  TBA
G2 UVU, Justin Smith (3-3, 5.95 ERA), Sac. St., TBA
G3 UVU, Jory Jensen (2-2, 5.15 ERA), Sac. St., TBA
G4 UVU, TBA, Sac. St., TBA