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2012 WAC Tournament Day One Recap/Day Two Preview

Day one of the WAC tournament is in the books and day two has begun.

5-seed Fresno State continued their historically strong play in the tournament (23-3 since 2006) defeating 4-seed Hawai’i 8-2 behind a 6-run sixth inning.  The Bulldogs will face top seed New Mexico State tonight at 7:00 p.m. (PDT).

3-seed Nevada won in dramatic walk-off fashion getting a home run from Carlos Escobar in the bottom of the ninth to stun 6-seed Louisiana Tech.  The Ruston-based Bulldogs have been snakebitten all season losing several games either in the final inning or in walk-off fashion.

Nevada will take on 2-seed Sacramento State today at 3:00 p.m. (PDT) while Louisiana Tech is relegated to the losers bracket with 4-seed Hawai’i and the two will face each other today at 11:00 a.m. (PDT) in an elimination game.
 Game Three (11:00 a.m. PDT)
#4 Hawai’i (30-24) vs. #6 Louisiana Tech (24-27)
UPDATE: #6 Louisiana Tech 9, #4 Hawai’i 6 – Hawai’i eliminated
Louisiana Tech faces #1 New Mexico State on Fri. at 11:00 a.m. (PDT)  

Season Series:
Louisiana Tech took two of three from Hawai’i in Ruston earlier this season but it was Hawai’i that handed Louisiana Tech one of those heartbreaking losses.  In game one of the series the Bulldogs held a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth but allowed two Warrior runs in the top of the 9th to tie the game and then an error allowed Hawai’i to score the eventual game-winning run in the top of the 12th inning.  The Bulldogs bounced back to take games two and three 9-4 and 4-1.

Projected Winner: Hawai’i

Game Four (3:00 p.m. PDT)
#2 Sacramento State (29-26) vs. #3 Nevada (32-23)
UPDATE: #2 Sacramento State 15, #3 Hawai’i 5 – Sacramento State advances to winners bracket game Friday, 7:00 p.m. (PDT)
Nevada faces winner of game 6 in an elimination game on Friday at 3:00 p.m. (PDT)
 

Season Series:
The Hornets took two of three from the Wolf Pack in Sacramento winning games one and two 2-0 and 8-7 before losing game three 9-1.

Sacramento State is making their first tournament appearance since 2008 where they were eliminated by Nevada 15-5.

Projected Winner: Sacramento State

Game Five (7:00 p.m. PDT)
#1 New Mexico State (35-20) vs. #5 Fresno State (26-25)
#5 Fresno State 15, #1 New Mexico State 8 – Fresno State advances to winners bracket game Friday, 7:00 p.m. (PDT) vs. #2 Sacramento State.  #1 New Mexico State plays #6 Louisiana Tech in an elimination game Friday, 11:00 a.m. (PDT).

Season Series:
Fresno State went into Las Cruces and defeated New Mexico State two out of three games jumping out to 5-0 leads in games one and three.  The two teams battled in a pitchers’ duel in game two with the Aggies coming out on top in 12 innings as NM State shortstop Zach Voight hit a walk-off solo home run to give the Aggies a 2-1 victory.  It was the only time in the entire series that the Aggies led.

Fresno State and New Mexico State met in the tournament back in 2008 in Honolulu.  The Aggies became the first WAC team to defeat Fresno State in the tournament but Fresno State would extract revenge as the two teams eventually faced each other in the championship game.  New Mexico State needed just one win to reach the NCAA Regionals while Fresno State needed to beat the Aggies twice to win the tournament.  The Aggies led late in both games but Fresno State came from behind twice and handed the Aggies a pair of heartbreaking defeats.  Fresno State would go on to reach the College World Series and win the national title.

Projected Winner: New Mexico State