WAC Weekend Preview (05/21-05/23)

Week seven of WAC play sees the end of the WAC regular season and as the final weekend starts, nothing has been determined.  Three teams (Fresno State, New Mexico State and Nevada) have a shot at winning the regular season and three teams (Hawai’i, San Jose State and Sacramento State) still have work to do to make the WAC Tournament.

STANDINGS
1.
Fresno State (32-22, 13-7)
2. New Mexico State (36-21-1, 14-9-1)
3. Nevada (31-19-1, 11-8-1)
4. Louisiana Tech (26-25, 10-10)
5. Hawai’i (26-24, 9-11)
6. San Jose State (20-32, 8-12)
7. Sacramento State (17-32-1, 6-14)

SERIES OF THE WEEK
Nevada (31-19-1, 11-8-1) vs. Louisiana Tech (26-25, 10-10)
Peccole Park, Reno, NV

Nevada has an outside chance to win the regular season title if they sweep Louisiana Tech and Sacramento State wins the series versus Fresno State.  If Nevada sweeps the Bulldogs they will at the very least secure the 2-seed and a first round bye in the WAC Tournament.  Louisiana Tech is in the WAC Tournament regardless of what they do in this series but the Bulldogs have won four in a row in conference play and would like to go into the tournament with at least a split in the final weekend.

Prediction: This is the battle of two of the WAC’s hottest teams and both teams are playing for position in next week’s conference tournament.  We think the two teams will split this series giving the Wolf Pack the 3-seed and the Bulldogs the 4-seed in the conference tournament.

Game One/Two: Fri., May 21, 2:00 p.m. PT
Game Three: Sat., May 22, 1:00 p.m. PT
Game Four: Sun., May 23, 1:00 p.m. PT

Fresno State (32-22, 13-7) vs. Sacramento St. (17-32-1, 6-14)
Pete Beiden Field, Fresno, CA

The Bulldogs faltered a bit last weekend against San Jose State after sweeping New Mexico State.  Fresno State could have wrapped up the regular season title last weekend against the Spartans but lost both games of the Saturday doubleheader and won the final game of the four game series on a walk-off single.  Meanwhile, Sacramento State lost three four to Nevada in head coach John Smith’s final home series as the skipper of the Hornets.  The Hornets and Bulldogs met in the regular season finale last season and Fresno State had to win three of four just to qualify for the WAC Tournament.  The Bulldogs went into Sacramento and sweep the series jumping from 7th place to 3rd place in one weekend.  Sacramento State is in a similar position this season as they have to win at least three of four games to keep their WAC tournament hopes alive, though they would need help from either Hawai’i or San Jose State (who face each other this weekend).

Prediction: It’s going to be tough sledding for the Hornets in this final weekend as the Bulldogs would love to claim the regular season title on Senior Weekend.  Sacramento State is capable of winning this series as they opened up league play with a surprising 3-1 series victory over Hawai’i.  The Hornets also split with San Jose State, the Bulldogs’ opponent last weekend.  However, we just don’t see the Hornets going into Fresno State and winning this series.  At best we see a split and we wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the Bulldogs sweep Sacramento St.

Game One: Fri., May 21, 6:00 p.m. PT
Game Two/Three: Sat., May 22, 2:00 p.m. PT
Game Four: Sun., May 23, 1:00 p.m. PT

Media:
Radio
: KMJ 580 AM Fresno

San Jose St. (20-32, 8-12) vs. Hawai’i (26-24, 9-11)
Municipal Stadium, San Jose, CA

The series between the 5th and 6th place teams is also a series that could see both qualify for the WAC tournament with a split or it could see one of the two miss out entirely on the tournament given the right (or wrong in their case) circumstances happening.  Hawai’i is coming off a 3-1 series victory over New Mexico State but a 5-1 loss to Stanford on Tuesday night.  The Warriors lead the overall series between the two teams 48-37.  San Jose State has struggled this season after winning the regular season last year, however, they can still make the conference tournament

Prediction: We think these two teams will split their series and will both qualify for the WAC Tournament with Hawai’i as the 5-seed and San Jose State as the 6-seed.

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

Media:
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM, Honolulu