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This Week in WAC Baseball - March 20
Courtesy: Bakersfield
WAC NOTES

NEW MEXICO STATE’S PAULSON NAMED WAC HITTER OF THE WEEK
New Mexico State infielder Michael Paulson has been named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week for March 11-17.

Paulson, a junior from Sammamish, Wash. (Curtis HS), helped the Aggies to a 4-2 record last week with a four-game series sweep over Alabama A&M. Paulson hit .533 (8-for-15) with only a single strikeout over the six games. He also tallied four walks, seven RBI, four doubles, scored seven runs and a stolen base. Paulson went 2-for-3 with an RBI in a 3-2 loss to No. 17 Oklahoma on Wednesday and followed that by scoring three runs in game one of a four-game series against Alabama A&M on Friday. In a 24-4 win over Alabama A&M during Saturday’s doubleheader, Paulson was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored while also marking a double. He finished the week going 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBI and a double as the Aggies defeated the Bulldogs 30-3 in seven innings. Paulson is now hitting .333 on the year with 10 RBI.

The other hitter of the week nominations: CSU Bakersfield junior shortstop Tyler Shryock ... Louisiana Tech sophomore catcher Jacob Derouen ... Sacramento State junior outfielder Justin Higley ... Seattle U senior infielder Nate Roberts ... Texas State sophomore infielder/outfielder Colby Targun ... UTSA sophomore infielder Horacio Correa III.

CSU BAKERSFIELD’S MCKENZIE NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
CSU Bakersfield left-hander Jeff McKenzie has been named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week for March 11-17.

McKenzie, a senior from El Dorado Hills, Calif. (San Joaquin Delta College), pitched his second-straight complete game 9.0 inning shutout win in a 12-0 victory over Northern Colorado last week. McKenzie retired the first 15 UNC batters before giving up his only walk of the game to lead off the sixth inning. The first UNC hit came with one out in the sixth inning. He struck out 11 including the side of the ninth. McKenzie has not given up a run in his last 18.2 innings on the bump.

The other pitcher of the week nominations: Louisiana Tech senior Trevor Petersen ... New Mexico State sophomore Trey Higginbotham ... Sacramento State sophomore Ty Nichols ... Seattle U freshman Ted Hammond ... Texas State junior Kyle Finnegan ... UT Arlington junior Chase Weaver ... 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 (15-6, 0-0 WAC)
CSU Bakersfield went 4-1 on the week last week ... Tyler Shryock hit .545 and posted a .591 slugging percentage as he started all five games ... Shryock also drove in two runs and scored three times ... the team dropped an 8-6 decision to UNLV before winning four straight against future WAC foe Northern Colorado ... Jeff McKenzie tossed his seventh career complete game and third career shutout in the 12-0 victory over Northern Colorado Mar. 15 ... McKenzie retired the first 15 batters he faced and held a no-hitter for 6.1 innings…he struck out the side in the ninth to record 11 for the game, one off his career high and two off the school record ... the Roadrunners also picked up a 5-3 win over Cal State Northridge on Monday ... the team opens WAC play at Sacramento State on Friday for a three-game series that will run through Sunday.

Dallas Baptist (11-10, 0-0 WAC)
Dallas Baptist went 3-2 last week ... the team picked up a 5-3 win at Stephen F. Austin before taking two of three games from Sam Houston State at home ... Michael Miller led the Patriots at the plate over the five games, batting .450 with nine hites, six runs scored, three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and a pair of walks ... Jaime Garrido hit .368 at the plate on the week with seven hits, five runs, one double, three RBI and three walks ... Duncan McAlpine hit .357 with five hits, four runs, one double, one home run, four RBI and five walks ... Cody Beam made two appearances on the mound, pitching 6.2 innings with a win ... Beam gave up only one run and three hits while collecting six strikeouts ... Cy Sneed pitched 6.0 innings with eight strikeouts while giving up only two runs in his appearances ... this week, Dallas Baptist opens WAC play on the road at San Jose State for a three-game series.

Louisiana Tech (8-14, 0-0 WAC)
Louisiana Tech took two games out of three from Stephen F. Austin at home this past weekend for a 2-1 series victory over the visiting Lumberjacks ... Tech began the series with a slim 3-2 loss, but bounced back Saturday with an eight-inning performance by right hander Trevor Petersen for the 7-3 win to tie the series at 1-1 ... with the series on the line in Sunday’s rubber match, Tech hitters combined to total season-highs in hits (14) and runs scored (12) for a 12-2 victory over Stephen F. Austin ... the Bulldogs had four players record multiple-hit games Sunday, including three-hit performances by designated hitter Jacob Derouen and shortstop Ryan Gebhardt ...  Derouen led the Bulldogs at the plate hitting .471 with eight hits, five runs, one double and three RBI on the week ... this week, Louisiana Tech hosts Alcorn State before opening WAC play at home against Seattle U.

New Mexico State (12-10, 0-0 WAC)
The Aggies are 12-10 heading into WAC play this week ... NM State is now hitting .290 as a team with junior Tanner Rust leading the way with a .375 batting average ... enior Bobby Lecount has a team-high 28 RBI on the year as the Aggies go for their fifth straight win this week ... junior Michael Paulson went 8-of-15 for a .533 batting average in six games played last week ... Paulson struck out only once and tallied four walks, four doubles and a .632 on-base percentage ... sophomore Trey Higginbotham went 1-0 last week in two appearances and finished with a 0.00 ERA ... he made a relief appearance against No. 17 Oklahoma and struck out two batters without giving up a run in 1.0 innnigs of work ... he started game two of a doubleheader against Alabama A&M and worked 5.0 innings ... that day Higginbotham struck out seven batters, walked three and gave up two runs, both of them unearned.   

Sacramento State (12-8, 0-0 WAC)
Sacramento State begins Western Athletic Conference play against Cal State Bakersfield this week ... the team will also return to Moraga to face Saint Mary’s for the second consecutive week…the Hornets scored eight runs in the sixth inning of their 10-0 win over Saint Mary’s and posted eight in the first of the 13-7 victory over the Gauchos ... Justin Higley led the Hornets to a 2-2 record last week, hitting .438 in 16 total at-bats with a double, triple and home run ... Ty Nichols picked up his second win of the season by facing just one over the minimum in a 10-0 Hornet victory at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday ... against the Gaels, Nichols allowed just two hits without a walk in six innings of work while also striking out four.

San Jose State (5-15, 0-0 WAC)
San Jose State went 1-4 last week ... the Spartans opened the week with a 6-5 setback at Cal Poly ... the team then rebounded with a 3-2 win over Nicholls State at home ... SJSU then dropped the next three games at home against Nicholls State by scores of 6-1, 4-1 and 9-1 ... Sheldon Daquioag led the Spartans at the plate over the five games, batting .476 with 10 hits, two runs, one double, two RBI and a walk ... Matt Carroll hit .389 on the week with seven hits, one run, two doubles, one home run, three RBI and three walks ... Andre Mercurio hit .350 with seven hits, a run and two walks ... Kyle Hassna picked up the win on the mound last week, pitching 5.1 innings over two appearances with 10 strikeouts ... Hassna gave up only one run, one walk and five hits on the week ... this week, San Jose State hosts California on Wednesday before opening WAC play at home against Dallas Baptist.

Seattle U (8-12, 0-0 WAC)
Seattle University started a week-long homestand with a 13-7 victory over Saint Martin’s last Tuesday ... after Wednesday’s game against Portland was postponed until April 3, the Redhawks won their third consecutive weekend series, taking two of three games from UC Davis ... Seattle U lost the first game, 7-4, and fell behind in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, 9-5, before scoring five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning ... Sunday, Seattle U once again fell behind 2-0 before scoring three unanswered runs in the 3-2 victory ... Eric Yardley picked up saves in both weekend wins and now has four saves so far this season ... after a week of winter quarter finals, the Redhawks will head on the road for two WAC series, starting at Louisiana Tech next Saturday through Monday, March 23-25.

UT Arlington (10-10, 0-0 WAC)
UT Arlington went 1-3 this week ... the Mavs lost to UALR 12-2 in Little Rock on Tuesday, March 12 ... UTA then hosted McNeese State in a three-game home series ... the Mavs dropped the first two games, 4-0 and 10-5 respectively ... an outstanding relief performance by Chase Weaver helped UTA avoid the sweep and defeat McNeese State 6-5 on Sunday, March 17 ... Weaver entered the game with UTA down one run and contained the Cowboys for six and two-thirds innings to preserve the Mavs’ one run lead ... he only allowed two hits in his relief outing with striking out five, two in the top of the sixth ... Weaver did not walk a single batter and improved to 2-0 on the year, the highest winning percentage of any UTA pitcher ... this week, UT Arlington opens WAC play at UTSA for a three-game series that starts on Friday and runs through Sunday.

Texas State (7-13, 0-0 WAC)
After two midweek games on the road against No. 16 Oregon, Texas State returned home to take two of three from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... pitchers Scott Grist and Kyle Finnegan picked up wins on Saturday and Sunday while Colby Targun led the team in hits, runs scored and total bases, finishing the week with a .400 batting average and .526 on-base percentage ... Kyle Finnegan Only allowed three hits and one run in Sunday’s win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi … he picked up extra duty in the midweek game against No. 16 Oregon … Finnegan only allowed three hits against 24 batters faced against TAMUCC Sunday ... the Bobcats take to the road to open conference play this week at New Mexico State.

UTSA (13-7, 0-0 WAC)
UTSA posted a 1-2 record last week ... the Roadrunners started the week with a 3-2 win last Friday at Tulane ... however, the Green Wave rebounded to win the final two games of the series, 2-1 and 8-3, respectively ... UTSA’s offense stalled in the Big Easy, hitting just .230 with five extra-base hits ... the Roadrunners pitching staff posted a 3.96 ERA, but allowed four multi-run innings during the weekend ... those four innings were the only frames in which Tulane scored any runs ... redshirt freshman Brock Hartson logged his first career complete game in last Saturday’s 3-2 loss ... sophomore Jordan Pacheco collected the only win last Friday after hurling 4.2 shutout panels in relief ... he also logged five strikeouts.

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