Files associated with this release:
WAC Tourney Notes 2012.pdf
Links associated with this release:
WAC Tournament Central
WAC TOURNAMENT: CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
MESA, Ariz. - After defeating Fresno State, 8-3, on Friday night in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, the Sacramento State baseball team will play for the WAC title and a bid to the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m. tonight at Hohokam Park.
Sacramento State will play for a WAC Tournament title tonight at 7 p.m.
The Hornets (31-26) will meet the winner of this afternoon’s Louisiana Tech and Fresno State game, which starts at 3 p.m.
(Live stats are available HERE, online radio HERE and a pay-per-view video feed through the WAC is HERE.)
No. 2 seeded Sacramento State, which won a share of its first WAC regular season title this year, will have two chances to clinch the first WAC Tournament title in school history as well. If the Hornets lose tonight, they will have another chance to win the title at noon on Sunday as the WAC Tournament is a double elimination format.
The winner of the WAC Tournament earns the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament starts on June 1 with 16 regional sites hosting four teams each in a double elimination tournament. The regional winners move on to a Super Regional, which is a best-of-three series against one team. After the Super Regionals, eight teams remain to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Sacramento State has never advanced to the NCAA Tournament since moving to Div. I in 1990. However, the Hornets went to the Div. II NCAA Tournament in 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989.
The Sacramento State offense has been red-hot in the WAC Tournament, hitting .430 as a team over two games. The pitching staff has been strong as well, with a 4.24 team ERA while holding opposing batters to a .238 average. Sacramento State’s opponents have a 11.02 team ERA in the tournament.
Sophomore Will Soto has paced the Hornets on offense, hitting .667 (6-for-9) with a double, a team-high four runs and two RBIs in the tournament. Senior Brent Hottman is also hot, with three hits in four at-bats. Soto, Hottman, junior Clay Cederquist, sophomore David Del Grande, and senior Derrick Chung are all hitting .455 or better through two tournament games.
No. 6 seeded Louisiana Tech is one win away from the title game, despite losing 4-3 to Nevada in the first round of the WAC Tournament. The Bulldogs have won three straight games to reach the consolation final. Louisiana Tech eliminated No. 4 seed Hawai’i, 9-6, on Thursday before eliminating No. 1 seed New Mexico State, 15-12, and No. 3 seed Nevada, 18-5 (7), on Friday.
No. 5 seeded Fresno State won, 8-2, against Hawai’i in the first round on Wednesday and defeated New Mexico State, 15-8, on Thursday before falling to the Hornets, 8-3, on Friday night.
More game specific notes below with overall tournament notes in PDF format linked above the photo:
- Sacramento State is one of only eight No. 2 seeds still alive in conference tournaments around the nation. Out of 24 total conference tournaments in action this weekend, Sacramento State (WAC), Indiana (Big 10), St. John’s (Big East), Southeast Louisiana (Southland), TCU (Mountain West), Arkansas State (Sun Belt), Dayton (Atlantic 10) and Canisius (Metro Atlantic) are still in contention for league titles. (As of 11:30 a.m. Saturday)
- Sacramento State’s overall statistics are filled with whole numbers. The Hornets have pitched exactly 500 innings, recorded 1,500 putouts and after their first at-bat tonight, will have 2,000 at-bats on the season. Sacramento State is also just two hits away from 600 this year.
- Sacramento State was 1-6 all-time in three WAC Tournament appearances before this season but has exacted some revenge in their two games thus far at Hohokam Park. In the Hornets’ last tournament appearance in 2008, they were eliminated by Nevada, 15-5. This year, Sacramento State defeated Nevada, 15-5, on Thursday afternoon, which was exactly four years ago to the day after being bounced by the Wolf Pack in 2008. The Hornets were 0-3 all-time against Fresno State in the WAC Tournament before beating the Bulldogs, 8-3, on Friday night.
- At 31-26 this season, head coach Reggie Christiansen, the WAC coach of the year, has guided the Hornets to their first 30-win season since 2003. That was also the Hornets’ last winning campaign. Sacramento State has reached 30 wins just six times since moving to Div. 1 in 1990.
- Fresno State has won five of the last six WAC Tournament titles, with Hawai’i the only other team to take the championship in that stretch.