College Baseball Blog WAC correspondent and bleedCrimson.net editor Sam Wasson recently sat down with New Mexico State head baseball coach Rocky Ward. This week he talked with Coach Ward about the opening weekend sweep of North Dakota, the upcoming series against Chicago State, the new WAC schedule as well as his thoughts on the WAC’s performance on opening weekend.
bleedCrimson.net: You put on a pretty big offensive display in the opening weekend but maybe more importantly you had a good defensive showing.
Rocky Ward: Yeah, we’re pleased with the quality of defense and pitching. We didn’t know what to expect from North Dakota. They’re coming out of cold weather, a new Division I program, making the transition. I was really pleased with their quality, I thought they had a good quality ball club. I understand people will look at the scores and say, “they pretty much took it to them.” They made a couple mistakes in the first and third games that expanded the scores, those could have been much closer than they were. We really took it to them pretty well in game one of the doubleheader but overall all three starting performances were outstanding. I don’t know that I can remember in school history that we had three consecutive six plus inning starts out of guys. You’d have to go back a ways. And we got good relief and played solid defense, only four errors on the weekend. A couple of those were kind of silly ones. Two of the four were first hitter of the game, just kind of routine plays to the first basemen and they weren’t quite ready.
Here is your Pac-10 Recap for February 21st.
Game 1: Arizona State 13 Wisconsin Milwaukee 5
TEMPE, Ariz. – Six home runs, including two each from Jason Kipnis and Carlos Ramirez, helped the No. 6 Arizona State University baseball team to a 13-5 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the opening game of a doubleheader Saturday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The Sun Devils improved to 2-0 on the season with the win. Continue reading
The 2008 National Champions came from the most unlikely of teams in the most unlikely of conferences. The Fresno State Bulldogs’ run through the College World Series put WAC baseball back on the map after the conference had lost some of it’s luster after the many realignments caused by their football brethren. The Bulldogs’ magical run resulted in the school’s first National Championship, unprecedented publicity for the school and the conference and earned them ESPY nominations and SI.com’s Sportsman of the Year award. But that was 2008. This is 2009. Can the league built off the shot in the arm it received from Fresno State’s run? Will Fresno State win their fourth WAC title in a row or will they succumb to the bulls-eye that will be on their backs from opening day?
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
DENVER – Fresno State has been selected as the favorite to win the 2009 Western Athletic Conference regular season baseball crown in a vote by the league’s seven head coaches. The coaches also voted on a preseason all-WAC team, and Fresno State placed four players on the team while Hawai‘i, Nevada and New Mexico State each had three. Fresno State junior third baseman Tommy Mendonca was named the preseason player of the year, while Hawai‘i senior Jared Alexander was picked the preseason pitcher of the year. Continue reading
We are now just little over two months away from opening day for Division I and for some Div II teams are a little over a month away. We are continuing to get 2009 College Baseball Schedules almost daily. Today, we have Bowling Green, Bradley, Bucknell, and Sacramento State. Continue to check back as we will have all Div I,II,III, and the NAIA schedules posted as soon as possible. If you are looking for a school you can find them in the drop down menu above or on the right where it say “2009 Baseball Schedules”.
Tim Wheeler (Courtesy of Sacramento State Media Relations)
The Sacramento State Hornets have released their 2009 baseball schedule which is highlighted by the season opening series from February 20th-22nd against the national ranked Arizona Wildcats. They will also play a three game road series on February 27th-March 1st at Cal Poly before the homer opener against Santa Clara on March 3rd. They will head right back on the road two days later when they head to Saint Mary’s for the first of a four game home and home series. Continue reading
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.