THIS WEEK IN WAC BASEBALL
Three WAC series are on the schedule this week. Sacramento State visits San Jose State, New Mexico State welcomes Louisiana Tech and Nevada travels to Hawai‘i. Fresno State steps out of conference this week to host Dallas Baptist.
WAC TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES
Fresno State Bulldogs (24-18, 7-5 WAC)
The Bulldogs split a four-game conference series at Nevada ... Fresno State won the first game before losing two in a row and winning the final game the series ... Jordan Ribera hit five home runs at Peccole Park, hitting .625 at the plate over the four-game series ... Ribera was named the WAC’s hitter of the Week and also earned national player of the week honors after his five-home run, nine RBI, seven runs scored performance ... the pitching staff struck out 25 batters and Josh Poytress led the way with five strikeouts Charlie Robertson also picked up a win on the mound for Fresno State ... the Bulldogs take a three-game hiatus from conference play to host Dallas Baptist April 29- May 1.
Hawai‘i Rainbows (21-20, 4-8 WAC)
The Rainbows went 3-2 last week with a 5-2 win over Centenary and a four-game series split at Louisiana Tech ... Jeffrey Van Doornum had a huge week on the road, going 10-for-20 with four homers, a double, seven RBI and eight runs … during the series at Louisiana Tech, Van Doornum carried a .529 batting average with four homers, a double, six RBI and eight runs … Josh Slaats led the team on the mound, pitching a complete-game shutout at Louisiana Tech on Apr. 22 … Slaats struck out four while allowing just five hits and two walks in the seven-inning victory that was called due to the conference’s run rule ... this week, Hawai‘i returns home to host Nevada in a four-game series, beginning Friday.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (21-18, 6-6 WAC)
Louisiana Tech split their third straight WAC series 2-2 versus Hawaii this past weekend … Clint Stubbs batted .667 with six singles, one double, one triple along with six runs scored and one stolen base over the weekend to help lead Tech to a series split with Hawaii … Stubbs recorded a career high 4-for-5 day in game three of the series with a double and an RBI and two runs scored … Trevor Petersen recorded his first career complete game in a 9-5 win over Hawaii in game two of the series … Petersen only walked one batter in nine innings while striking out four and it was the first nine inning complete game recorded by a Tech pitcher this year … LA Tech now travels to Las Cruces for a four game series vs. first place New Mexico State.
Nevada Wolf Pack (22-15-1, 3-4-1 WAC)
Nevada went 2-2 at home in a four-game series against Fresno State last week ... the Wolf Pack dropped an 8-3 decision in game one before winning the next two games, 17-6 and 14-4 ... the Pack then dropped the series finale 9-3 ... Shaun Kort led Nevada at the plate, batting .643 with seven runs scored, two doubles, two home runs and 6 RBI posting an on base percentage of .722 with a 1.214 slugging percentage ... Jeremy Cole tossed his first complete game for Nevada pitching all 7 innings of a run rule game as the Wolf Pack won 14-4 ... Cole allowed four runs, three earned on six hits to improve to 3-0 on the season. In four of the seven innings he faced just 3 batters ... Nevada travels to play Hawai‘i this week.
New Mexico State Aggies (31-12-1, 9-2-1 WAC)
New Mexico State went a perfect 5-0 last week with a 5-3 win at San Jose State before sweeping Sacramento State in a four-game series in California ... Parker Hipp started all five games for NM State, leading the way with a .353 batting average and hitting his first career home run in the series opener against Sacramento State ... Hipp finished the week with five RBI and five walks, while scoring six times ... freshman left-hander Ryan Beck led the Aggies to their first shut out of the season as he worked six complete innings on the mound ... Beck struck out six Hornet batters and walk only one, while allowing five hits ... this week, New Mexico State returns home to host Louisiana tech in a four-game series.
Sacramento State Hornets (14-22-1, 3-4 WAC)
Sacramento State went 0-4 last week at home against league leader New Mexico State ... Trevor Paine led the Hornets at the plate as he batted .571 with eight hits, two runs scored, two RBI and three walks ... Justin Mezzaneras hit .389 with seven hits, one home run, five RBI and three runs scored ... Brandon Sandoval led the Hornets on the mound, pitching 5.0 innings without giving up a run ... Sandoval only allowed three hits while striking out two in his five innings pitched ... this week, Sacramento State travels to San Jose State to play a four-game series.
San Jose State Spartans (15-23, 3-5 WAC)
San Jose State went 1-3 last week ... the Spartans dropped a 5-3 decision against New Mexico State before going 1-2 against Wichita State on the road ... SJSU dropped the first two games of the Wichita State series 3-2 and 7-6 before winning the series finale 4-3 ... Jason Martin led SJSU last week, hitting .353 with six hits, one double, two RBI, two walks and one runs scored ... Alex Sofranac scored three runs for the Spartans and also drove in a pair of runs last week ... John Austin picked up the lone win on the mound for the Spartans, going 11.0 innings on the week with six strikeouts ... this week, San Jose State hosts Sacramento State in a four-game series.
FRESNO STATE’S RIBERA NAMED VERIZON WAC HITTER OF THE WEEK
Fresno State’s Jordan Ribera has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week for April 19-25.
Ribera, a junior first baseman from Fresno, Calif. (Clovis West HS), hit .625 (10-for-16), helping the Bulldogs to a pair of wins at Nevada last week. Ribera scored seven runs with two doubles, five home runs, nine RBI and a 1.688 slugging percentage over four games last week. With his five home runs last week, Ribera now leads both the WAC and the nation with 20 home runs this season. Ribera has now hit a home run in five-straight games, tying the Fresno State record for consecutive games with a home run.
The other hitter of the week nominations: Hawai‘i junior outfielder Jeffrey Van Doornum … Louisiana Tech senior outfielder Clint Stubbs … Nevada senior first baseman Shaun Kort … New Mexico State freshman infielder Parker Hipp.
HAWAI‘I’S SLAATS NAMED VERIZON WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Hawai‘i’s Josh Slaats have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week for April 19-25.
Slaats, a junior from San Ramon, Calif. (California HS), pitched a complete-game shutout at Louisiana Tech last week. Slaats struck out four while allowing just five hits and two walks in the seven-inning 10-0 victory that was called due to the WAC’s run rule. The win marks Slaats’ second complete-game shutout of the season. Slaats now holds a 4-2 record on the season with a 1.71 ERA, striking out 56 in 52.2 innings pitched.
The other pitcher of the week nominations: Fresno State sophomore Charlie Robertson … Louisiana Tech freshman Trevor Petersen … Nevada junior Jeremy Cole … New Mexico State freshman Ryan Beck.
FRESNO STATE’S RIBERA EARNS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Fresno State first baseman Jordan Ribera was named the National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper for the week of April 19-25. Ribera, a junior from Fresno, Calif. (Clovis West HS), hit .625 (10-for-16), helping the Bulldogs to a pair of wins at Nevada last week. Ribera scored seven runs with two doubles, five home runs, nine RBI and a 1.688 slugging percentage over four games last week. Ribera is the second Bulldog to earn an National Player of the Week honor from Collegiate Baseball and third Bulldog to earn a WAC honor. He is the first Bulldog hitter to be honored.
FRESNO STATE’S RIBERA LEADS NATION IN HOME RUNS
As of April 25, teams from the WAC rank in the top-10 nationally in 12 team statistical categories and six individual catergories. New Mexico State leads the WAC, ranking first in the nation in two team categories. The Aggies rank first in the nation in hits (582) and walks (303). Individually, Fresno State’s Jordan Ribera leads the nation in both home runs (20) and home runs per game (0.48.
SAN JOSE STATE’S PIRARO REACHES 1,000 WINS
Now in his 36th season, Sam Piraro achieved his latest milestone of 1,000 career head-coaching wins with a 5-3 home decision over BYU on Saturday, April 3. Piraro produced a 74-43 mark with the San Jose State junior varsity squad in three seasons (1974-76). In seven seasons (1980-86) at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., he went 190-70. In 23 campaigns as the Spartan head coach, Piraro is 737-555-6.
SAN JOSE STATE TIES NCAA SINGLE GAME DOUBLE PLAYS RECORD
San Jose State and Pacific combined to tie the NCAA Division I record for most double plays by two teams in a single game, when they turned a total of 10, five apiece, on Sunday, March 28, at UOP’s Klein Family Field. The teams now share the record that was originally set more than 20 years ago, when Georgetown (6) and George Mason (4) accomplished it on April 4, 1989. A 3-6-3 twin killing, from first baseman Breyon Canez, to shortstop Zack Jones, and back to Canez, ended the 10th and tied the mark.
LOUISIANA TECH SETS NUMEROUS MARKS AGAINST MINNESOTA IN FIRST-EVER GAME PLAYED AT TARGET FIELD
Louisiana Tech’s match-up against Minnesota on Saturday March 27 was the first ever game played at the Minnesota Twin’s brand new Major League Baseball Stadium, Target Field. Louisiana Tech set numerous Target Field firsts, including the first win, hit, home run, triple, double, RBI, run, walk, double-play, and hit-by-pitch. The game at Target Field was the second-largest crowd ever to attend a college baseball game at 36,056.
NEVADA’S STASSI NAMED COLLEGEBASEBALLINSIDER.COM WEST REGION PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND TIME THIS SEASON
Nevada junior designated hitter Brock Stassi has added another honor being named the Collegebaseballinsider.com West Region Player of the Week in addition to his Western Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week honor announced on Monday. It marks the second time this season Stassi has earned both honors as he was selected the opening weekend of the season, Feb. 15-21.
NEW MEXICO STATE’S AGUAYO NAMED TO NATIONAL SHORTSTOP OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
New Mexico State shortstop Ryan Aguayo was named to the 2010 Brooks Wallace Award watch list, Tuesday, March 23, which was released by the College Baseball Foundation. The Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, goes to the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented on July 2, 2010, in Lubbock, Texas as a part of the College Baseball Awards show. Aguayo (Pico Rivera, Calif.) is currently second on the team with a .414 batting average, while he is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. His play on defense is just as good as he has come up with 80 assists while committing just nine errors to come up with a fielding percentage of .929. He has played in all 23 games this season and has started 21 of those 23 games.
THREE WAC PLAYERS NAMED CANDIDATES FOR LOWES SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Louisiana Tech’s Devon Dageford, New Mexico State’s Mike Sodders and San Jose State’s Corey Valine have been selected as three of just thirty student-athletes in the nation to be a candidate for the 2010 baseball Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring.
FRESNO STATE’S GONZALEZ THROWS NO-HITTER, EARNS LOUISVILLE SLUGGERS AND NCBWA PRO-LINE NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Greg Gonzalez was lifted into the limelight after throwing a no-hitter Saturday night. He was named the Louisville Sluggers and the NCBWA Pro-Line National Player of the Week. Gonzalez made history at Les Murakami Stadium, becoming the seventh Bulldog in Fresno State history to throw a no-hitter. In his first career start, the junior threw a complete game shutout over Hawai’i. Gonzalez silenced the Rainbow batters throwing his first career no-hitter. The last no-hitter by a Bulldog pitcher was in 1976 by Rob Cruess against Sacramento State. Gonzalez tied his career-high of seven strikeouts and threw seven innings, his longest outing of the season. Two walks stood between Gonzalez and a perfect game. The righty-handed pitcher faced just over the minimum of 22 batters and sat down 17 in order. He was named Baseball America’s Pitcher of the Night.
ROCKY WARD BECOMES ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COACH AT NM STATE
New Mexico State head baseball coach Rocky Ward recently became the all-time winningest coach at NM State surpassing Jim Kwasny who tallied 300 wins from 1969-82. Ward, who is in his 12th season as Aggie head coach, picked up win No. 301 when his team defeated Akron 8-3 in game one of a doubleheader, Saturday, Feb. 27 at Presley Askew Field.
HAWAI‘I’S LINSKY REGISTERS THREE SAVES IN THREE STRAIGHT GAMES
Lenny Linsky posted three saves in three consecutive games during the weekend series vs. Oregon (Feb. 25, 26, 28), becoming the first player in program history to accomplish that feat. Linsky pitched two perfect innings in the series opener, striking out three for the save. He then allowed a hit in a one-inning save on Feb. 26 before retiring the final two batters in the first game of the doubleheader on Feb. 28. Linsky currently ranks 12th nationally with six saves this season.
THREE WAC PLAYERS ON 2010 NCBWA PRESEASON TEAM
Three WAC baseball players have been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Pro-Line Athletic Preseason All-America team. Louisiana Tech’s Devon Dageford and New Mexico State’s Mike Sodders each earned first team honors, while Fresno State’s Dusty Robinson was named to the third team.
SACRAMENTO STATE’S JOHN SMITH TO STEP DOWN AS HEAD BASEBALL COACH FOLLOWING 2010 SEASON
Sacramento State head baseball coach John Smith has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2010 season, which will be his 32nd season at the helm of the program. In his 31 years as the head coach at Sacramento State, Smith has compiled 861 victories in the Green and Gold. Since taking over the program in November of 1978, Smith has produced 16 winning seasons, including 11 years with at least 30 wins and four years with at least 40 victories. A two-time American Baseball Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year, Smith led the Hornets to the Division II College World Series in 1986 and 1988. The 1986 club defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills in the West Regional before posting a 2-2 record at the CWS. The 1988 team made it to the doorstep of the National Championship, before falling in the title game to Florida Southern, 5-4.
2010 WAC TOURNAMENT HEADS TO MESA’S HOHOKAM STADIUM
The WAC has awarded the City of Mesa the WAC Baseball Tournament for 2010, 2011 and 2012, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson announced this past May. The event will be played at Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium, the Chicago Cubs Spring Training home. The City of Mesa, Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau and Phoenix Regional Sports Commission worked in tandem to secure the event which features Hawai‘i, Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Sacramento State, Nevada, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Starting in 2010, the City of Mesa will host the double-elimination tournament with the winner earning the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The top six teams from the WAC’s regular season standings will advance to the tournament. The WAC Baseball Tournament is no stranger to the state of Arizona and the City of Mesa. The league’s championship has been played in Arizona nine times (1963, 65, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 76, 78) and the event was held in Mesa in 1971 and 1973. Mesa has fast become the third largest metropolitan city in the state of Arizona off ering a variety of lifestyle and leisure pursuits that are in high demand by visitors and residents alike. Now boasting 460,000 residents, Mesa’s population is greater than such well-known cities as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Miami. Mesa is unique among cities in the Phoenix area as it is embraced by the Sonoran Desert – a playground for sought-after outdoor recreation and one-of-a-kind attractions. As a sports destination, Mesa shines off ering some of the nation’s best training facilities for field sports paired with unbeatable year-round weather and award-winning hotels. Mesa has been recognized as one of the country’s most desirable destinations for hosting dynamic sporting events and athletic competitions on all levels: amateur, youth, collegiate, and professional. Hohokam Stadium is best known as the winter home of the Chicago Cubs and is major league baseball’s most popular spring training venue. Boasting one of the largest capacities in the Cactus League, more than 240,000 attendees pass through its gates each March. In addition to hosting Cactus League Spring Training, Hohokam Stadium is also the home of the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. Hohokam Stadium and adjacent training facility opened in February 1997. The stadium seats 13,030 and includes one practice field and one practice infield.