WAC Tournament Day Two Recap/Day Three Preview

Day two of the 2010 WAC Tournament saw the first elimination as 3-seed Nevada ousted 5-seed Louisiana Tech 3-1.  The 2-seed New Mexico State fell 13-7 to 4-seed Hawai’i and 1-seed Fresno State held on to defeat 6-seed San Jose State.  There will be two elimination games played on Friday as the field will be whittled down to three by the end of the day.

Game 3 – #3 Nevada 3, #5 Louisiana Tech 1 – Elimination Game
The Wolf Pack got a nearly perfect outing from freshman starter Tom Jameson who went 8.0 innings giving up one run, a solo home run and one walk.  Jameson was perfect through seven and two-thirds innings before giving up the solo home run to Clint Ewing in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Nevada took the lead 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run from Nick Melino.  The Wolf Pack would extend the lead to 2-0 in the top of the eighth inning as they would score on a wild pitch with two outs.  After the Bulldogs cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth on Clint Ewing’s solo shot, the Wolf Pack would add an insurance run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single from Nick Melino with one out.  Tyler Graham picked up the save for the Wolf Pack, his 10th of the season as he pitched the ninth inning allowing just a single hit.  Mike Jefferson took the loss for Louisiana Tech falling to 4-4 on the season as he went 6.2 innings giving up just two hits and one run while striking out nine and walking five.  The Bulldogs would use five more pitchers over the final 2.1 innings.  The Wolf Pack will face 2-seed New Mexico State at 11:00 a.m. PT on Friday in the tournament’s second elimination game.

Game 4 – #4 Hawai’i 13, #2 New Mexico State 7
Hawai’i took advantage of six Aggie miscues to advance to the winner’s bracket final on Friday as they took down 2-seed New Mexico State 13-7 on Thursday afternoon.  The Warriors got on the board in the first inning as they took advantage of  two Aggie errors on a routine soft liner to NM State second baseman Parker Hipp.  Hipp fielded the soft line drive hit and had UH baserunner Kolten Wong off of first base but an errant throw allowed Wong to advance to second base.  NM State catcher Jared Jordan who was backing up the play at first threw the ball down to second in an attempt to pick off Wong but the throw got away from shortstop Ryan Aguayo who was covering the bag.  The ball rolled into center field and Wong advanced to third and would come in to score on a single in the next at-bat.  The two errors would set the tone defensively for New Mexico State as they would go on to commit three more fielding errors and a sixth error on a costly catcher’s interference call.

New Mexico State would take their only lead in the game at 2-1 in the bottom of the first inning but Hawai’i would retake the lead in the top of the second inning as they scored two runs to take a 3-2 lead.  New Mexico State would tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the second inning and the two teams would head to the fourth inning tied 3-3.  Hawai’i would score six times in the top of the fourth to take control of the game as they were aided by two more New Mexico State errors in the inning.  NM State would cut the lead to 9-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning but Hawai’i would answer to push the score to 10-4.  The Aggies scored three times in the bottom o the fifth inning to cut the Warriors’ lead to 10-7 but Hawai’i would add three more runs in the top of the eighth, all with two outs, to seal the game at 13-7.

Sam Spangler started the game for Hawai’i and gave up three runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings and was replaced by Alex Capaul who pitched 1.2 innings but picked up the victory to improve to 6-2 on the season.  Capaul allowed four runs on five hits and struck out three Aggies.  Zach Gallagher threw 4.2 innings in relief and picked up his first save of the season as he allowed just two hits and struck out five Aggie batters while walking three.  Dan Reid took the loss for NM State as he threw 3.1 innings allowing seven runs, four earned on 10 hits while walking one and striking out one.  Adam Heredia pitched a third of an inning allowing two runs, both unearned.  D.J. Simon threw 5.1 innings in relief and gave up four runs, two earned, on eight hits while striking out six and walking two Warriors.  His first pitch of the game was a wild pitch that scored a UH base runner, that run was credited to Heredia.

With the victory Hawai’i advances to the finals of the winner’s bracket and will face top seeded Fresno State.  New Mexico State falls into the loser’s bracket and will face Nevada at 11:00 a.m. PT in an elimination game.

Game 5 – #1 Fresno State 12, #6 San Jose State 10
The Spartans gave top seed Fresno State a scare but in the end they came up short as Fresno State improve to 17-1 in tournament play since 2006.  SJSU struck first scoring two runs in the top of the first on a two-run bomb from Karson Klauer.  However, Fresno State would take the lead in the bottom of the inning scoring three runs, a lead which they would never relinquish.  Fresno State added a single run in the bottom of the third to go up 4-2 and then score four more times in the bottom of the fifth to take a commanding 8-2 lead.  SJSU trimmed the lead to 8-3 in the top of the sixth but Fresno State would match that run in the bottom of the inning to go up 9-3.  San Jose State put a big dent in the Bulldogs’ lead scoring four times in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to just two runs at 9-7 but the Bulldogs would add a single run in the bottom of the inning to go back up by three at 10-7 and then added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on a two run home run by Dusty Robinson to go up 12-7.  San Jose State made things interesting scoring three times in the top of the ninth to cut the lead to 12-10 but Fresno State would hold on for the two-run victory.

Greg Gonzalez picked up the victory going 6.1 innings and giving up seven runs, five earned, striking out four while allowing eight hits.  Matt Morse pitched the final 2.1 innings to pick up a save allowing three runs, all earned, giving up five hits while striking out two.  John Austin took the loss for SJSU as he pitched just one inning giving up three runs on three hits while walking two batters.  Eric LaBaron threw 4.0 innings  for SJSU giving up seven hits, five runs, all earned while striking out one and walking one.  The Spartans used five pitchers in total on the night.

Fresno State advances to the winner’s bracket final where they’ll face Hawai’i at 7:30 p.m. PT on Friday.  San Jose State falls to the loser’s bracket and will face the winner of the New Mexico State/Nevada elimination game with that game set for a 4:00 p.m. first pitch.

Day Three Matchups
Game 6 – #2 New Mexico State vs. #3 Nevada – Elimination Game – 11:00 a.m. PT
These two teams met in Las Cruces to start conference play with New Mexico State winning the series 2-1-1.  The Aggies came from behind to tie the final game of the series 10-10 after being down 8-0 after two innings.  The tie allowed the Aggies to take the series and earn the 2-seed over Nevada as the teams both finished 14-9-1 in conference play.  The winner will face 6-seed San Jose State at 4:00 p.m. PT in the tournament’s third elimination game.

Game 7 – Winner Game 6 vs. #6 San Jose State – Elimination Game – 4:00 p.m. PT
San Jose State awaits the winner of the New Mexico State/Nevada elimination game.  The Spartans lost three of four to New Mexico State in San Jose and lost three of four to Nevada in the regular season finale last weekend.

Game 8 – #1 Fresno State vs. #4 Hawai’i – 7:30 p.m. PT.
The Bulldogs took three of four from Hawai’i in Honolulu to start conference play.  The winner of this game advances to the Championship game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. while the loser will play the winner of the third elimination game on Friday (4:00 p.m. PT) on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PT.