This Week in WAC Baseball - March 5
UTSA’S ROCKETT NAMED WAC HITTER OF THE WEEK
UTSA outfielder Daniel Rockett has been named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week for Feb. 25-March 3.
Rockett, a senior from Sugar Land, Texas (Austin HS), helped the Roadrunners to a 4-0 record last week with wins over Texas-Pan American, Nebraska-Omaha, Penn State and Stephen F. Austin. Rockett hit .538 (7-for-13) over the four games. He posted a pair of doubles, a home run, three RBI, two runs, a walk and a stolen base. Rockett has reached base successfully in all 12 games this season. He went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in UTSA’s 5-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha last Friday. He followed up that performance with three hits, including a double and an RBI against Penn State. He also went 1-for-2 with a double against Stephen F. Austin on Sunday. His 12 total bases translated to a .923 slugging percentage and he reached base at a .571 clip last week. Rockett continues to lead the WAC in multiple offensive categories, including batting average at .553.
The other hitter of the week nominations: CSU Bakersfield senior infielder Dylan Christensen … Louisiana Tech junior infielder Tyler Ervine … Seattle U senior outfielder Sean Narby … UT Arlington sophomore infielder Ryan Walker … Texas State sophomore infielder Garrett Mattlage.
TEXAS STATE’S BLACK NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Texas State right-hander Taylor Black has been named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 25-March 3.
Black, a sophomore from Allen, Texas (Allen HS), pitched a complete game 7.0 inning shutout win in a 13-0 victory over Northern Kentucky last week. Black gave up only one hit and allowed just four base runners in the shutout victory. He also tallied 10 strikeouts and only walked three against 25 batters faced.
The other pitcher of the week nominations: Louisiana Tech sophomore Phil Maton … New Mexico State senior Ryan Beck … Sacramento State senior Tyler Hoelzen … Seattle U sophomore Kyle Doyle … UTSA freshman Brock Hartson.
WAC TOURNAMENT HEADS TO GRAND PRAIRIE’S QUIKTRIP PARK
After succesful tournaments in Mesa, Ariz., the past three years, the WAC baseball tournament will now head to Grand Prairie, Texas this May. The event will be played at QuikTrip Park, home of the Grand Prairie Air Hogs. The Air Hogs play in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. The cities of Grand Prairie and Arlington will host the tournament with the winner earning the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The top eight teams from the WAC’s regular season standings will advance to the tournament. The brand-new QuikTrip Park at Grand Prairie located in the heart of Grand Prairie’s Entertainment District directly between Lone Star Park and Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX. The $25 million venue, seats 5,500 guests and features 13 luxury suites. Amenities at the stadium include: The AirHogs Pool and Party Deck, the 17,000 sq. ft. Grand Prairie Wide World of Parks Playground, the FieldHouse Grill & Bar, the 3rd Base Party Deck, the Coors Light Officers Club and the Admirals Club. QuikTrip Park hosts special events such as live boxing, concerts, car shows, festivals and corporate events.
WAC TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES
CSU Bakersfield (8-3, 0-0 WAC)
CSU Bakersfield swept four games on the week, extending a winning streak to five to conclude an 11-game homestand to open the 2013 season ... coming from behind was the theme for the week as the Roadrunners had to battle back from deficits in the first three wins of the week ... CSUB has six come from behind victories this season ... Dylan Christensen emerged as a two-way threat for CSU Bakersfield as the Roadrunners won four games last week ... Christensen, the CSUB DH, hit .471 with five RBI’s in victories over Valley rival Fresno State and a series sweep of LIU Brooklyn ... Christensen, now the Bakersfield closer, saved the game against the Bulldogs and earned the save on Friday night against the Blackbirds ... CSUB continues play this week at UC Irvine on Tuesday before a three-game series at UC Davis Friday through Sunday.
Dallas Baptist (4-7, 0-0 WAC)
Dallas Baptist went 0-4 last week ... the Patriots opened the week with a 6-1 setback at home against TCU ... the team then dropped three games at Texas A&M Corpus Christi by scores of 5-1, 6-3 and 11-10 ... Nash Knight led the Patriots at the plate over the four games, hitting .385 with five hites, one run, two triples, three walks and an RBI ... Boomer Collins batted .353 with six hits, four runs, two doubles, one triple, one RBI and one walk ... Duncan McAlpine hit .333 with four hits, two runs, two doubles, one home run and four RBI ... Michael Miller led the team with five RBI on the week with four hits, one double and a walk ... Cy Sneed worked 6.1 innings with two strikeouts and only two earned runs ... Jake Johansen pitched 7.0 innings with nine strikeouts while allowing four earned runs ... Dallas Baptist hosts Texas Southern Tues. and Wed. before traveling to play Oral Roberts in a three-game series.
Louisiana Tech (3-8, 0-0 WAC)
Louisiana Tech fell to Stephen F. Austin, 10-5, Wednesday before traveling to face in-state foe McNeese State in a three-game road series ... the Bulldogs took the first game of the series Friday night 6-0 behind a nine-strikeout performance by Tech’s sophomore right hander Phil Maton ... the Bulldogs fell in game two of the series, 2-0, behind a complete game shutout by McNeese pitcher Blake Ware to give the Cowboys the win and tied the series at one game apiece ... McNeese State won the rubber match Sunday 6-5 to give them the series victory ... Tyler Ervine led the Bulldogs this past week at the plate with a 6-for-17 performance to increase his batting average to a team-leading .372 ... Ervine leads the Bulldogs in batting average (.372) and total hits (16) this season ... Louisiana Tech plays at Baylor on Tuesday and Wednesday before hosting Nebraska for a three-game set Friday through Sunday.
New Mexico State (4-8, 0-0 WAC)
New Mexico State went 1-4 last week ... the Aggies opened the week with a pair of losses at No. 10 NC State by scores of 9-2 and 8-3 ... the team then dropped the first two games of a three-game series at Wake Forest by scores of 6-1 and 14-1 ... NM State won the series finale at Wake Forest 4-0 ... left-hand pitcher Ryan Beck made two appearances finishing with a 1-0 record and a 3.38 ERA last week ... against No. 10 North Carolina State, Beck faced 12 batters in 2.0 innings of work, allowing three runs while striking out two batters in an 8-3 loss ... Beck got the start in the series finale with ACC team Wake Forest and pitched 6.0 innings, striking out seven batters while not walking a single batter ... he retired 11-of-12 batters from the second-fifth innings as the only batter to reach got on with an error ... Michael Medina hit .333 on the week with five hites, two walks and an RBI.
Sacramento State (6-5, 0-0 WAC)
Sacramento State won three of four games over the week, including a 2-1 series win against Utah Valley ... the Hornets went 5-3 in their eight game homestand, which concluded on Sunday with a 10-3 victory ... Rhys Hoskins mashed his first home run of the season, an estimated 415 feet, in the Sunday win and went 5-for-15 during the week ... David Del Grande maintained his team-best .341 batting average by going 5-for-13 with two doubles and a team-high six runs scored over the last four games ... Ty Nichols had the best outing of his career in Friday’s 1-0 win over Utah Valley. Nichols, who gave up at least one earned run in all but two of his 15 appearances last season, went 7.1 scoreless innings and allowed just four hits with five strikeouts and two walks ... Nichols and freshman RHP Sutter McLoughlin combined for the Hornets’ first shutout of the season.
San Jose State (2-9, 0-0 WAC)
San Jose State went 0-4 last week ... the team dropped a 2-1 decision to San Francisco on Tuesday before dropping three games at UC Santa Barbara by scores of 5-4, 7-2 and 2-1 ... Andre Mercurio batted .333 with a team-best six hits on the week ... Mercurio also recorded one RBI, one run scored and one walk on the week ... Tim Quiery also hit .333 with five hits, two runs scored, one double, two walks and an RBI ... Jacob Valdez hit .231 with three hits, two runs scored, one RBI and a pair of walks ... D.J. Slaton pitched 8.0 innings in his appearance on the mound ... Slaton compiled five strikeouts while allowing only five hits and one earned run ... Jason Kafka pitched 5.0 innings while giving up only one earned run and three hits ... Kafka had five strikeouts in his five innings ... this week, San Jose State looks to get back on track at Fresno State on Tuesday before a three-game series against Santa Clara.
Seattle U (3-9, 0-0 WAC)
Seattle University went 2-3 during the week, starting with two losses to BYU at home ... the Redhawks recovered over the weekend, winning two of three games at Long Beach State ... it was the third consecutive weekend that Seattle U traveled to the state of California for a three-game series ... in Friday’s game at Long Beach State, Grant Newton hit a leadoff home run in the eighth inning to put the Redhawks ahead, and Eric Yardley picked up his second save of the season by notching five outs ... the Redhawks held a 3-1 lead going into the eighth inning Saturday, but could not hold off the Long Beach State comeback ... Tuesday, Seattle U is scheduled to make the first of three trips across town to face the Washington Huskies, followed by a three-game series next weekend at the University of Portland.
UT Arlington (7-4, 0-0 WAC)
UT Arlington split a pair of games in the UT Arlington Invitational over the weekend ... the Mavericks dropped their first two games of the tournament to Houston Baptist (7-6) on Friday, and Illinois (7-3) on Saturday ... the Mavericks then swept a doubleheader against the same opponents on Sunday for a 2-2 weekend record to move to 7-4 overall ... UTA faces two Big 12 opponents this week when it host No. 17 Oklahoma (Baseball America) and travels to face Texas Tech in Lubbock on March 8-10 ... Darien McLemore improved his batting average to a team leading .400 over the weekend and Matt Shortall picked up his first homerun of the season last week.
Texas State (4-7, 0-0 WAC)
Texas State took its first series of the season with two wins over Northern Kentucky ... the first came on Saturday in dominating fashion as Taylor Black pitched a one-hit shutout and the Bobcat lineup put up 13 runs on 12 hits to end the game early via run rule in the seventh ... Black registered 10 strikeouts and gave up only one hit in the complete game shutout … Garrett Mattlage led the Bobcats at the plate, batting .471 with eight hits, three runs, one triple, one home run, three walks and seven RBI … Texas State took Sunday’s game, 11-7, and Mattlage knocked TXST’s first home run of the season ... the Bobcats welcome UTSA to town for a non-WAC game Tuesday, then travel to the Pacific Northwest for three games against Oregon State.
UTSA (9-3, 0-0 WAC)
UTSA went 4-0 last week to improve to 9-3 on the year ... the Roadrunners opened the week with a 7-1 victory over Texas-Pan American last Tuesday ... last weekend, the Birds swept Omaha, Penn State and Stephen F. Austin to win the UTSA Classic at Wolff Stadium ... UTSA’s pitching staff was dominant during the week, posting a 1.25 ERA with a shutout and 28 strikeouts in 36.0 innings of work ... only one of the nine pitchers used last week yielded more than one earned run, while six kept the opponent scoreless ... last Friday, three pitchers combined to hurl a five-hit shutout against Omaha ... the Roadrunners continued to score runs with two outs ... the Birds have scored 50 of their 100 runs with two outs this season ... 12 of UTSA’s 37 hits went for extra bases last week, including three triples and three home runs ... junior RJ Perucki hit a three-run inside-the-park home run in last Friday’s win over Omaha.