WAC Weekend Preview (May 14th – May 16th)

Courtesy: San Jose State University

Courtesy: San Jose State University

The final weekend of WAC play sees four teams with a shot at winning the regular season title. San Jose State (11-7) controls its own destiny as they host Nevada (10-9). If the Spartans win three of four they would clinch the regular season title and the number one overall seed in next week’s conference tournament. They would share the league title with Louisiana Tech (and earn the No. 1 seed via tiebreaker) with a series split and a split in the New Mexico State/Louisiana Tech series. Nevada, currently the third place team, will win the regular season title if they sweep San Jose State or if they take three of four from San Jose State and Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State split their series.

Louisiana Tech enters the weekend in second place and with three or four wins against New Mexico State coupled with either a Nevada split or Nevada taking three of four in their series with San Jose State, would win the regular season title and take the top overall seed in the conference tournament.

New Mexico State, the 4th place team in the league can win the league title and the top overall seed in the conference tournament if they sweep Louisiana Tech and Nevada takes three of four from San Jose State.

SERIES OF THE WEEK:
Nevada (25-25, 10-9) at San Jose State (35-17, 11-7)
Municipal Stadium, San Jose, CA

San Jose State is fresh off a dominating 3-1 series victory over New Mexico State in the desert southwest. The Spartans scored 67 runs (16.75/gm) and hit 11 home runs in four games after having hit just 27 home runs through their first 48 games. The Wolf Pack come into the series on the complete opposite note having lost three of four games at home to last place Sacramento State and had to rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to salvage the one win.

Prediction:
This should be a fantastic series between two teams with a shot at the league title. San Jose State should have plenty of motivation knowing that they control their own championship destiny and it will be interesting to see if they can build off of their offensive explosion. Nevada must feel fortunate to still be in the title hunt after losing three of four at home to the last place team in the league but here they are still with a shot at the title. With so much on the line for both teams we expect to see a very high level of play from both squads and we think that the two will split their series.

Game One: Fri., May 15th, 6:00 p.m. PT
Game Two: Sat., May 16th, 1:00 p.m. PT
Game Three: Sat., May 16th, 4:40 p.m. PT
Game Four: Sun., May 17th, 1:00 p.m. PT

Probable Starters:
G1 TBA
G2 TBA
G3 TBA
G4 TBA

Fresno State (24-27, 8-12) at Sacramento State (27-22, 8-10)
Hornet Field, Sacramento, CA

Just one year ago Fresno State was putting the finishing touches on their third consecutive regular season WAC title and third consecutive conference tournament title. What a difference a year makes. The Bulldogs have struggled in league play and at 8-12 heading into the final weekend they are in danger of missing the conference tournament. The Bulldogs head to Sacramento to take on the Hornets as the two teams battle for the final tournament spot. Sacramento State heads into the weekend needing to split the series with Fresno State to earn a spot in the conference tournament. Sacramento State is riding the momentum of a 3-1 series victory over Nevada on the road and have won six of their last 10 conference games.

Prediction:
Fresno State has been terrible on the road this season as they enter the final weekend with a 3-16 record on the road while Sacramento State has been a solid home team as they’re 17-6 heading into the final four games of the regular season. Fresno State must win three of four to make the conference tournament. Sacramento State can earn a conference tournament spot by splitting their home series with the Bulldogs. Given Fresno State’s troubles on the road this season we think that Sacramento State will do just enough to earn their spot and the series will be split.

Game One: Thu., May 14, 3:00 p.m. PT
Game Two: Fri., May 15, 3:00 p.m. PT
Game Three/Four: Sat., May 16, 12:00/3:30 p.m. PT

Probable Starters:
G1 TBA
G2 TBA
G3 TBA
G4 TBA

New Mexico State (39-13, 10-10) at Louisiana Tech (26-18, 11-9)
J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, Ruston, LA

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have had a remarkable turnaround in conference play. After starting league play 1-7 they enter the final weekend of play as one of four teams with a shot at the league title. They host New Mexico State, who also has a shot at the league title. The Bulldogs had their non-conference game this past weekend canceled due to a scheduling conflict and when they face New Mexico State on Thursday it will be their first game in 11 days. New Mexico State is looking to get rid of the sour taste from their 3-1 series loss at home to San Jose State. The Aggies’ pitching stafff is looking to rebound from a weekend that saw them give up 67 runs, the most in any four series this season.

Prediction:
The Bulldogs missed out on the WAC tournament last season and have the opportunity to go from worst to first if they get a little help. However, we think the Aggies will also be plenty motivated especially after missing out on a chance to write their own ticket to the top. In the end we think the two teams will split the series as they head to the tournament as the likely 2 and 3 seeds.

Game One/Two: Thu., May 14, 1:00 p.m. CT
Game Three: Fri., May 15, 6:00 p.m. CT
Game Four: Sat., May 16, 1:00 p.m. CT

Probable Starters:
G1 NM State – Jared Jordan (7-2, 5.14 ERA), LTU – Jeb Stefan (4-5, 6.86 ERA)
G2 NM State – DJ Simon (8-1, 5.38 ERA), LTU – TBA
G3 NM State – Sebastien Vendette (7-1, 5.38 ERA), LTU – TBA
G4 NM State – Tyler Sturdevant (5-5, 7.27 ERA), LTU – TBA

Hawai’i has concluded WAC play and will host Utah Valley for four games.