It was a quiet day for WAC baseball - only two conference teams playing. However, one of those was San Jose State, and they dropped their second game this week, this time to Saint Mary's. Inside Sparta recaps both contests.
Saint Mary's 8 - San Jose State 4
In a game marred mostly by lack of interest (97 fans), the Gaels bested our boys in blue. I hate to lose anything, even a game of checkers but I'm thinking the recent two losses should not be taken too seriously. San Jose State Coach Sam Piraro would be playing Santa Clara and Stanford with a serious mind to win. This does not suggest he didn't enter this game with a mind to win. However, as I said in the last report, he has guys that are gathering dust on the bench and need to gain experience even at the expense of losing a game. In this game a host of pitchers took the mound for the Spartans and some points of interest can be gleaned from their results.
The good: Ryan Shopshire got in a bases loaded jam and escaped. Tyler Heil continues to show he can pitch and not just throw in his one scoreless inning.
The bad: Anthony Vega gives up four runs (one earned) in his 2/3 of an inning. Where has the Vega gone that we saw earlier in the season as our possible shut down closer?
The ugly: Spartans got only six hits. If I'm reading the box correctly the Spartans pitchers hit five Gaels batters. That is not good and certainly shows lack of command due to inaction.
To the other side Saint Mary's starter Kyle Barraclough went five good innings allowing only three hits in getting the win. Let's talk about this kid. He's a freshman from Wilcox High School in Santa Clara so I'm sure some of you know of him or his exploits. As a freshman he's seen quite a bit of action for the Gaels as he's now 3-4 with 35 IP. His ERA is a respectable 4.84 and SO/BB is 33/19 which is ok. Keep an eye on this kid, he could be good in future years.
Back to this loss. Saint Mary's is 21-17 overall and have a few notable wins and losses. They have beaten Stanford twice (always nice to beat up your neighbors), split a four game series with Sacramento State, lost three of four to Santa Barbara and recently lost all three at Pepperdine. What this says is that they are a decent team with a decent to tough schedule playing in a pretty tough baseball conference (in which they're 3-6). Santa Barbara is next for SJSU and you can get my preview elsewhere. My final comment is a question: Any Max Peterson sightings?
Louisiana Tech 15 - Northwestern State 3
Who the heck is Northwestern State you ask? The Demons are from the Northwestern part of Louisiana (no surprise there) and have played other teams that we out here don't know. BUT, they have beaten LSU and split a pair with Tulane which are both very good programs so they are at least decent. However, they were no match for the southern dogs this game as the bruised and limping dogs took apart the Demons' pitching staff leaving no pitcher unscathed (love that word. Can you imagine someone saying "Oh man, did I scathed last night!") as they scored in all innings but the first. Devon Dageford led the way with his twelfth home run in going 3 for 3. I'm telling you, this guy is good. But there were others such as Kevin Win (3-5) and Clint Ewing (1-4 with 4 RBIs).
Why did I throw Ewing's name in there? How did he get the 4 RBIs? Grand slam say you? No, in fact he doubled for two RBIs to account for his only hit. A ground out RBI and a sacrifice fly to the shortstop for the other. Shortstop? How can that be? Any time the infielder is running away from the infield you need to take a chance on scoring and it worked. Sophomore Casey Jones pitched five shutout innings in getting the win (2-0) and then the freshmen we saw finished it out. I'm sure the home cookin' helped as well as 894 appreciative home town fans.
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Don Starks is the Baseball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Recap of April 15 WAC baseball
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