Week five of play in the Western Athletic Conference sees the battle between rivals New Mexico State and Fresno State with first place on the line. The two teams faced each other for the conference championship in last year’s conference tournament as Fresno State staved off two elimination games to win the tournament title for the fourth consecutive season. Sacramento State visits Louisiana Tech while San Jose State head to Reno to face Nevada.
1. New Mexico State (34-12-1, 13-2-1)
2. Fresno State (26-20, 7-5)
3. Nevada (24-17-1, 5-6-1)
T4. San Jose State (17-26, 5-7)
T4. Sacramento State (16-25-1, 5-7)
T6. Hawai’i (23-22, 6-10)
T6. Louisiana Tech (21-22, 6-10)
SERIES OF THE WEEK
New Mexico State (35-12-1, 13-2-1) vs. Fresno State (26-20, 7-5)
Presley Askew Field, Las Cruces, N.M.
New Mexico State comes into the weekend with hopes of locking up the regular season title and the number one overall seed in the conference tournament as they completed a second straight four-game conference sweep last weekend against Louisiana Tech. Fresno State comes in with a record of 11-6 on the road this season and boast the nation’s leading home run hitter in Jordan Ribera who has hit 22 home runs this season while the Aggies are the nation’s leading home run hitting club.
These two teams have become the premiere rivalry in the WAC over the past two seasons as no team has played Fresno State closer than New Mexico State. The Aggies jumped back into the polls at No. 25 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 30. Last season’s series in Fresno State yielded some of the most dramatic baseball played anywhere in the country as all six games, regular and postseason, were decided in the eighth inning or later and five of the six games were decided by two runs or less. These two teams can light up the scoreboard and it should be another outstanding duel between these two clubs. New Mexico State has a chance to win the regular season title at home and we think they’ll take three of four from the Bulldogs.
Game One: Fri., May 7, 6:00 p.m. MT
Game Two/Three: Sat., May 8, 3:00 p.m. MT
Game Four: Sun., May 2, 1:00 p.m. MT
Game 1 & 4: Television, AggieVision
Game 2 & 3: Radio, KSNM AM 570 Las Cruces,
San Jose State (17-26, 5-7) vs. Nevada (24-17-1, 5-6-1)
Peccole Park, Reno, NV
The Spartans split their series with Sacramento State while Nevada was busy splitting their series with Fresno State. Both teams sit in the thick of the conference race and are still hoping for a shot at the No. 2 seed in the WAC Tournament which comes along with a first round bye.
Prediction: Nevada is playing pretty well almost moved into second place last weekend instead settling for a split with Fresno State. Nevada has only lost four games at home this season, two of those last weekend. We think the Wolf Pack will take care of the Spartans winning three of four to keep their hopes alive for a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Game One: Fri., May 7, 6:00 p.m. PT
Game Two/Three: Sat., May 8, 1:00 p.m. PT
Game Four: Sun., May 9, 1:00 p.m. HT
Louisiana Tech (21-22, 6-10) vs. Sacramento State (16-25-1, 5-7)
J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, Ruston, LA
Louisiana Tech and Sacramento State have something in common. They were both swept by New Mexico State. The Bulldogs have fallen to the bottom of the league standings with just two weekends of play remaining. Only six of the seven teams advance to the WAC Tournament and with the Bulldogs being back at home they’ll be looking to get back into the middle of the pack. Sacramento State rebounded from their sweep at the hands of New Mexico State by splitting with San Jose State last weekend.
Prediction: We think the Bulldogs will bounce back and take three of four from the visiting Hornets to put themselves back into the middle of the WAC standings.
Game One: Fri., May 7, 6:00 p.m. CT
Game Two/Three: Sat., May 8, 1:00 p.m. CT
Game Four: Sun., May 9, 1:00 p.m. CT