The 2011 Mountain West baseball season began this past weekend with all seven teams in action. Only TCU, UNLV and Air Force were to avoid a losing record the first weekend.
Air Force (2-2)
The Falcons took part in a tournament hosted by Texas State University where the Falcons split their four games. Air Force ended up beating the Missouri State Tigers (7-2) and the Washington Huskies (16-10), but ended up losing to host Texas State Bobcats (9-4) as well as the Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1).
Outfielder Nathan Carter lead the Falcon offense over the weekend, hitting 6-for-18 with four runs scored, six RBI and a home run. Air Force next takes on Navy with a three-game series starting Friday, February 25th in Kingston, N.C.
The Horned Frogs took on Kansas in a three-game series against Kansas and the Horned Frogs went 2-1. In the first game TCU had a record crowd of 6,099 in an 8-2 win in their season opener. Star pitcher Matt Purke ended up pitching four innings while giving up only one hit, no runs, three strike outs and a walk. Here is how Purke described his first outing on the season:
*It was good. I was able to work on some things. We had some long innings where I had to sit a little bit, but I got used to that and we did a good job on both sides. I was just trying to get as many guys out as quickly as possible."
The second game was also a TCU blowout as they beat Kansas 7-1, but the final game went to extra innings where TCU's comeback fell short in 14 innings as the Horned Frogs fell 4-3.
New Mexico Lobos (0-3)
The Lobos took on the No. 11 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils and as expected were swept by the Sun Devils only the second game even being competitive as they lost 7-5. The first and third game ended up 8-2 and 8-1 with the fourth game being canceled due to weather in Tempe, Ariz.
The UNLV Rebels could be the surprise team of the Mountain West this season. They swept the Maine Black Bears with an impressive offensive showing from the four-game series. The Rebels were projected to finish fifth in the Mountain West, and sweeping Maine looks to be a good start since Maine is predicted to finish second in the American East.