THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: Seattle University enters the final weekend of its initial season within the Western Athletic Conference needing as many wins as possible to qualify for the WAC Baseball Tournament. The Redhawks are currently a half-game behind San Jose State for the eighth and final spot in the tournament. In order for Seattle U to pass San Jose State, it needs to win at least one more game over New Mexico State than the Spartans take from WAC-leader CSU Bakersfield. Saturday’s game will be at Courter Field on the campus of Bellevue College because of high school playoff action at Bannerwood Park. Saturday is also Senior Day for the Redhawks.
LAST WEEK: Seattle University could not break through in the win column last week, first losing to Washington last Tuesday, 7-2, before being swept by WAC-leading CSU Bakersfield over the weekend. The big inning was a constant theme throughout the week, starting with the Huskies scoring six runs in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game to break open a close contest. Friday, CSU Bakersfield scored eight runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth inning on its way to a 13-1 seven-inning contest. Saturday, the Roadrunners jumped on the board immediately with seven runs in the first inning and held a 9-0 lead, but Seattle U fought back with three runs in the seventh and five runs in the eighth, but a couple of added runs for CSUB allowed the home team to hold on for an 11-9 victory. Sunday, Seattle U scored five runs in the third, but the Roadrunners came right back with two in the third and four in the fourth. After the Redhawks tied the game, CSUB collected single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to complete the weekend sweep.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO STATE: The Aggies enter the weekend with a 27-24 overall record, including a 12-12 record within the Western Athletic Conference, currently in a tie for sixth place in the league standings. New Mexico State was swept by UTSA last weekend, but the Aggies are still heading to the WAC Tournament next week in Grand Prairie, Texas. As a team, the Aggies have combined for a .294 batting average, a .961 fielding percentage, and a 5.37 earned run average. New Mexico State is third in the conference in hitting, but ninth in both fielding and pitching. Tanner Rust leads the league with a .402 batting average, collecting 78 hits, including 14 doubles, two triples, and seven home runs. Robert Lecount is batting .349, eighth in the WAC, with 13 doubles, 13 home runs, 66 runs batted in, and a .675 slugging percentage. Thursday starter Adam Mott is 6-5 with a 4.88 ERA, while Friday starter Ryan Beck is 7-4 with a 5.17 ERA. Evan Mott has made a team-high 29 appearances out of the bullpen, posting a 0-2 record with a 3.07 ERA and three saves, plus he has 60 strikeouts in 44 innings of work.
SERIES HISTORY: Seattle U and New Mexico State previously met April 28-30, 2011, in a four-game series at Bannerwood Park. In the first game, New Mexico State took a 6-0 lead and held on to defeat the Redhawks, 7-4. The teams split a doubleheader the next day, with New Mexico State winning the first game, 10-2, before Seattle U came back with a five-run second inning to win game two, 5-1. The Aggies would close out the series with an 8-3 victory, scoring three runs in the second inning and five runs in the fourth.
WEATHER FORECAST: There may be some adjustments to the schedule in order to get all three games in, as the forecast for both Friday and Saturday calls for showers, with Thursday’s forecast calling for mostly cloudy skies. Temperatures are scheduled to be in the low 60s with winds out of the southwest at about 10 miles per hour.