WAC Weekend Preview (04/22-04/25)

Week three in the WAC sees the top two teams, New Mexico State and Sacramento State, squaring off in Sacramento.  Fresno State travels to Nevada and Hawai’i visits Louisiana Tech.  The San Jose State Spartans take their weekend away from the WAC and travel to Wichita, KS to take on the Shockers of Wichita State.

STANDINGS
1. New Mexico State (28-12-1, 6-2-1)
2. Fresno State (22-16, 5-3)
3. Sacramento State (14-19-1, 3-2)
4. Louisiana Tech (19-17, 4-5)
5. San Jose State (14-21, 3-5)
6. Nevada (20-13-1, 1-2-1)
7. Hawai’i (20-18, 3-6)

SERIES OF THE WEEK
Sacramento State (14-19-1, 3-2) vs. New Mexico State (28-12-1, 6-2-1)
Hornet Field, Sacramento, CA

This series pits the top two teams in the league standings after two weekends of play.  Sacramento State handled visiting Hawai’i winning the series 3-1 while New Mexico State went on the road and took three of four from San Jose State.

Prediction:
These two teams played game one of the series a day earlier than scheduled turning the series into a four-game, four-day series as opposed to the normal single/double/single format.  The Aggies came out on top by a final score of 11-4 and moved into first place in the league standings (calculated by win percentage).  The Aggie offense along with a renewed sense of confidence in their pitching staff will propel the Aggies to another 3-1 series victory.

Game One: NM State 11, Sacramento State 4
Game Two: Fri., Apr 23, 2:30 p.m. PT
Game Three: Sat., Apr 24, 1:00 p.m. PT
Game Four: Sun., Apr 25, 1:00 p.m. PT

Media
Series: KSNM AM 570 Las Cruces

Probable Starters
Sacramento State: Robert Butler (1-0, 5.05 ERA), Jesse Darrah (3-2, 3.71 ERA), Jose Ramirez (1-2, 5.60 ERA), TBD
New Mexico State: Justin Cooper (3-0, 6.20 ERA), Dan Reid (4-1, 6.60 ERA), Tyler Mack (4-0, 6.00 ERA), TBD

Louisiana Tech (19-16, 4-4) vs. Hawai’i (19-18, 2-6)
J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, Ruston, LA

The Warriors have lost back-to-back series to open up league play and wrap up a lengthy road trip with a series against Louisiana Tech.  The Bulldogs continue their interesting conference play.  In their four victories they have outscored opponents 50-15.  However, in their losses they have been outscored 46-14.  Hawai’i has struggled winning just one game in each of their two four game series and has also struggled to put up runs averaging just 4.25 runs per game in league play.  This series is also being played over four days.

Prediction:
It may sound obvious but the team that scores will win this series.  La. Tech in their four losses have averaged just 3.5 runs per game, Hawai’i in their six losses have averaged just 3.8 runs per game.  We think the Bulldogs win this series 3-1 and send the Warriors back to the island in search of answers.

Game One: Hawai’i 10, Louisiana Tech 0
Game Two: Fri., Apr 23, 6:00 p.m. CT
Game Three: Sat, Apr 24, 3:00 p.m. CT
Game Four: Sun, Apr 25, 1:00 p.m. CT

Probable Starters
Louisiana Tech: Jamey Bradshaw (4-0, 3.90 ERA), Trevor Peterson (4-4, 5.49 ERA), TBD, TBD
Hawai’i: Josh Slaats (3-2, 1.97 ERA), Sam Spangler (2-5, 3.99 ERA), TBD, TBD

Nevada (20-13-1, 1-2-1 vs. Fresno State (22-16, 5-3)
Peccole Park, Reno, NV

Fresno State split their series with Louisiana Tech falling hard in the first two games but rallying to win the final two games of the series and sit at 5-3 in league play.  The Wolf Pack had a weekend off from conference play and battered Seattle on the road.  The Wolf Pack will be looking for their first series victory of the season while the Bulldogs will be looking to keep pace with the winner of the New Mexico State/Sacramento State series.

Prediction:
Nevada has not had any problems scoring runs, however, they have had problems keeping runs off the board by the opposing team.  The Bulldogs likewise have not had too much trouble scoring, however, their three conference losses have seen them score an average of just four runs per game.  We think Nevada can pull out a split with the Bulldogs.

Game One: Fri., Apr 23, 6:00 p.m. PT
Game Two/Three: Sat., Apr 24, 4:00 p.m. PT
Game Four: Sun., Apr 25, 1:00 p.m. PT

Probable Starters
Nevada: Chris Garcia (4-1, 3.47 ERA), Jeremy Cole (2-0, 3.40 ERA), Rom Jameson (1-1, 4.76 ERA), Brock Stassi (5-3, 3.02 ERA)
Fresno State: Josh Poytress (4-3, 4.56 ERA), Matt Morse (2-4, 4.98 ERA), Greg Gonzalez (5-0, 4.31 ERA), Charie Robertson (2-2, 4.46 ERA)

San Jose State (14-21, 3-5 WAC) at Wichita State (23-14, 8-4 MVC)
Eck Stadium, Wichita, KS

The Spartans step out of conference play to take on Wichita State in a three game series at Wichita.