GAME ONE – #1 FRESNO STATE VS. #2 HAWAI’I
Fresno State scored one run on an Eric Wetzel homer in the bottom of the fourth to take an early 1-0 lead over 2-seed Hawai’i. Hawai’i would answer and take the lead with three runs in the top of the sixth inning and Landon Hernandez and Matt Roquemore produced back-to-back home runs to start the inning. The lead didn’t last long however as Fresno State scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up 8-3 and then added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to lead 11-3. Hawai’i added a meaningless run in the top of the ninth and the battle between the tournament’s only two remaining unbeatens went to top seed Fresno State.
Jason Brckley picked up the win for the Bulldogs pitching four innings and giving up just one run, that being on the Ryan Asato sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth. The losing pitcher was Matt Daly who in five innings of work gave up six runs. With the win Fresno State advances to the Championship game on Sunday.
GAME ONE – #5 NEW MEXICO STATE VS. #6 SACRAMENTO STATE
The first game of the second day of the tournament was an elimination game for both teams. Just as the did in their game against Hawai’i, the Aggies struck first via a home run from Colin Crouthamel. Sacramento State would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Gabe Jacobo homered to lead off the scoring for the Hornets. Sacramento State would plate two more runs in the inning to take a 3-1 lead. New Mexico State answered with two runs to tie the game 3-3 but could have had a much bigger inning as Marcus Quade grounded into an inning ending double play. Sacramento State answered the two Aggie runs with three more runs to retake the lead 6-3 and would add two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to stretch their lead to 8-3. New Mexico State would attempt to rally scoring runs in the eighth and ninth innings and had the tying run at the plate in Marcus Quade but Quade grounded into his second inning ending double play of the game as the season ended for New Mexico State.
Tyler Sturdevant picks up the loss for the Aggies as he pitched 4.1 innings and gave up six runs. Tommy Elrod picks up the win for the Hornets as he pitched 3.1 innings in relief of Brian Smith. Elrod gave up just one run.
GAME ONE – #1 FRESNO STATE VS. #6 SACRAMENTO STATE
Fresno State defeated Sacramento State 3-2 in the first round of the WAC Baseball Championship Tournament on Thursday. The Bulldogs struck first blood in the first inning taking a 1-0 lead on a Steve Susdorf RBI single as Grand Hedstrom scored from from second. Sacramento State tied the game up in the fourth inning on a Tim Wheeler single that brought home Gabe Jacobo from second base. The Bulldogs would take the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring two runs off a Ryan Overland double as Tommy Mendonca and Alan Ahmady both scored on the play. Sacramento State would add one run to bring the Hornets to within one run but that was as close as they would get and Fresno State would hold Sacramento State scoreless over the final two innings. Continue reading
The 2008 WAC tournament gets under way on Thursday, May 22nd in Ruston, LA at J.C. Love Field. The stadium has a 3,500 seat capacity. J.C. Love Field’s dimensions are (left-to-right) 315-370-385-340-325. The outfield wall has been raised to 12 feet from the left-field corner around to right center where it will remain at eight feet from right-center to the right-field line.
The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the mid to high eighties with a 30% to 40% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms over the tournament weekend.
The first round matchups will see 1-seed Fresno State take on 6-seed Sacramento State, 2-seed Hawai’i take on 5-seed New Mexico State and 3-seed Nevada take on 4-seed San Jose State. The games are scheduled for 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. All times are CDT.
The 2008 All-Conference teams were announced at the annual WAC postseason awards banquet. Fresno State swept the individual honors as the WAC Player of the Year award went to Fresno State’s Steve Susdorf, WAC Pitcher of the year went to Tanner Scheppers and the WAC Coach of the Year was a tie between Fresno State’s Mike Batesole and San Jose State’s Sam Piraro.
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES
(DURHAM, N.C.) – USA Baseball announced today the names of the 50 semifinalists for the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). This year will mark the 31st consecutive year that the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation’s premier amateur baseball player. Continue reading
Fresno State at Sacramento State
Fresno State and Sacramento State split their weekend series over the weekend. The Hornets took the opening game on Friday night 9-8 on a walk-off grand slam by freshman Brent Hottman. On Saturday the two teams split the doubleheader with the Hornets picking up game one 4-0 and Fresno State taking game two 6-4. With the 6-4 victory the Bulldogs wrapped up their third straight WAC title. On Sunday the Bulldogs took the series finale 13-6. Continue reading
Baseball America via Jonathan Mayo of MLBlogs.com is reporting that Fresno State ace and potential Top 10 MLB draft pick Tanner Scheppers is out for at least the next six weeks with a stress fracture in his pitching shoulder. Mayo speculates that the Scheppers camp may not be completely forthcoming regarding the injury and that the stress fracture story may be a cover for another, perhaps more serious injury.
Regardless this is a huge blow for both Scheppers and Fresno State who has high hopes of winning the WAC’s conference tournament and the automatic bid into the NCAA regionals.
SERIES OF THE WEEK: FRESNO STATE AT SACRAMENTO STATE (Hornet Field)
Why it’s important: Fresno State controls its own destiny this weekend. The Bulldogs head into the final weekend of the regular season with a one game lead over second place Nevada. If the Bulldogs can win three of four they will likely win the WAC regular season crown. This series could also be a preview of one of next week’s first round matchups in the conference tournament. Continue reading
bleedCrimson.net continues their weekly interviews with New Mexico State head baseball coach Rocky Ward. This week Coach Ward discusses the season ending series with Louisiana Tech as well as coaching for the conference tournament. The full article is available at bleedCrimson.net.
Samuel Wasson is the Co-Founder and Editor of bleedCrimson.net and covers New Mexico State University athletics. He comes to the CBB as our expert on the WAC.