Files associated with this release:
WAC Tourney Notes 2012.pdf
Links associated with this release:
WAC Tournament Central
WAC TOURNAMENT: FRESNO STATE PREVIEW
MESA, Ariz. - After knocking off No. 3 seed Nevada, 15-5, on Thursday afternoon in its Western Athletic Conference Tournament opener, the Hornets will play No. 5 seed Fresno State at 7 p.m. on Friday at Hohokam Park with a bid to the title game on the line.
The Hornets and Bulldogs meet at 7 p.m. on Friday in the WAC Tournament.
(Live stats are available HERE, online radio HERE and a pay-per-view video feed through the WAC is HERE.)
The winner of tonight's game will move on to the WAC Tournament title game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, to face the winner of the consolation bracket. The loser will play at 3 p.m. tomorrow for a chance to climb back into the title game later that day.
While the Hornets had a bye before defeating Nevada in a run-rule shortened game yesterday, the Bulldogs have won two games to get to this point. Fresno State defeated No. 4 seed Hawai'i, 8-2, in its tournament opener on Wednesday before using a 10-run second inning to upset No. 1 seed New Mexico State, 15-8, yesterday.
Sacramento State and Fresno State have a one-sided past in the WAC Tournament. In each of their previous three trip to the WAC Tournament, the Hornets have lost opening round games to the Bulldogs. The Hornets lost 10-2 in 2006, 10-2 in 2007 and 3-2 in 2008.
In two teams' regular season series this year, Sacramento State took game one, 9-7, at Fresno State after scoring six runs over the final two innings. The Bulldogs flipped the script in the second two games, using late rallies to win game two, 10-6, and game three, 8-6. In fact, the two teams combined to score 31 runs over the seventh, eighth and ninth innings in the three game series.
For Friday's tournament game, Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen will send freshman RHP Brennan Leitao (6-5, 5.06 ERA) to the mound. He threw game three in the regular season series against the Bulldogs, taking the loss after allowing five runs on 11 hits in six innings with two walks and one strikeout. Sophomore Justin Higley, who homered against Nevada, hit .308 in the three-game series at Fresno State with a team-high five RBIs and a home run. Junior Andrew Ayers and senior Trevor Paine also homered against the Bulldogs.
Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole will counter with sophomore LHP Tyler Linehan (4-5, 3.58), who prepped at Sheldon HS in Sacramento, Calif. Linehan pitched game one against the Hornets in the regular season, a no decision in which he allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits in 5.2 innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Linehan posted a 6.68 ERA in six league starts this season. Kenneth Wise hit .727 in the three game series with the Hornets while Trent Garrison had a home run and a team-high six RBIs.
More game notes below, with overall tournament notes above in PDF format.
- Sacramento State won its second WAC Tournament game in school history on Thursday, 15-5, against Nevada. In fact, in the Hornets' last league tournament game in 2008, four years ago to the day, they were eliminated 15-5 by Nevada.
- Head coach Reggie Christiansen has guided the Hornets (30-26) to their first 30-win season since 2003. That was also Sacramento State's last winning record. Including this year, the Hornets have had seven winning seasons in 22 years since moving to Div. I.
- Sacramento State has won four straight games against WAC foes. The Hornets swept Hawai'i in their final WAC series of the season and knocked off Nevada in the tournament yesterday.
- In 2011, Fresno State took the WAC Tournament title and won all three of its games and cruised through the winner’s bracket by outscoring its opponents, 39-10. The Bulldogs have claimed five of the last six WAC Tournament titles.
- Fresno State owns a 24-3 record in the WAC Tournament games since 2006. Under head coach Mike Batesole, the Bulldogs are 36-13 in postseason play, including both the WAC and NCAA Tournaments.
- Fresno State has won 10 of its last 12 games, including two WAC Tournament games.