The Mountain West baseball league schedule got underway this past weekend as BYU played Utah, UNLV hosted TCU and San Diego State hosted New Mexico. Air Force was the only school who took on a non-conference opponent as they hosted Portland.
Utah (7-8) vs. BYU (9-11)
The Utes have started to turn their season around after losing their first five games. The Utes have now gone 7-3 since then. Utah ended up surprising BYU by winning the series two games to one and in the process Utah's C.J. Cron was named the co-Mountain West Conference player of the week:
Cron batted .667 (8-for-12) with three doubles, one home run, seven RBI and five runs scored to help lead the Utes to a 2-1 record against BYU last week. In a 3-2, series-opening win, the Phoenix, Ariz., native went 3-for-4 at the plate, including scoring the tying run in the eighth inning. Cron also went 3-for-4 with three doubles, three RBI and one run scored in a 10-8 loss to the Cougars on Friday. He ended the series with a 2-for-4 day at the plate in a 15-6 Ute victory on Saturday, driving in four runs (including a three-run home run).
The scores from the weekend series were 3-2, 8-10 and 15-6. In the middle game which Utah loss the gave up a late lead as they allowed BYU to score eight runs in the final two innings for the Cougars only win in the series.
Air Force (11-10)
The Falcons had their best series of the season as they easily swept the Portland Pilots in four games at home to bring their record above .500 The other player to share offensive player of the week awards came to the
Custons batted .520 (13-for-25) and scored 11 runs while hitting from the lead-off spot as Air Force posted a 5-1 record last week. ... During that span, registering five multi-hit games and scoring multiple runs in four contests. In a doubleheader split with Creighton, Custons went 4-for-7 (.571) with three runs scored, one RBI, one triple and one walk. He followed that performance with a 9-for-18 (.500) effort at the plate in a four-game sweep of Portland, scoring eight runs while driving in two more. Custons hit two doubles and homered twice off the Pilot pitching staff while also collecting two walks.
The Falcons also had the Mountain West pitcher of the week in sophomore Luke Dorlac:
Dorlac worked 5.2 innings in relief while helping Air Force to wins over Creighton and Portland last week. The sophomore righthander did not allow a run in two appearances, striking out five batters and walking one. On Wednesday, he pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out two hitters and issuing one walk to pick up the win in a 2-1 victory over the Bluejays in game one of a doubleheader. On Saturday, he fanned three batters over three scoreless innings of work while earning the save in a 9-4 win in game two of a twinbill against the Pilots. Dorlac was part of a Falcon bullpen that did not allow a run in four games vs. Portland.
TCU (13-7) vs. UNLV (17-6)
UNLV has been the surprise team of the Mountain West, but this past weekend in a series against conference favorite TCU, the Rebels came up short going 1-2. In that victory, UNLV won in dramatic fashion with a Brandon Bayardi walk-off home run, giving the Rebels a 5-4 victory. In that same game Bayardi hit two home runs and drove in three RBI. In the other two games TCU took care of business winning in a 12-2 blow out and 8-4 in the finale. TCU star pitcher Matt Purke started, and won, the 12-2 game. Purke pitched 5 and 2/3 inning, allowed seven hits, two earned runds and struck out 11 batters.
New Mexico (4-15) vs. San Diego State (6-15)
San Diego State was able to earn their first series win of the season by taking two-of-three from the lowly New Mexico Lobos. Each game was close as the Aztecs won 7-4, 13-10 and losing the finale 6-4. In both of the Aztecs wins they had to overcome an early deficit to beat the Lobos in two of their wins. In the final game New Mexico scored five runs in the top of the sixth to erase the Aztecs three runs they scored in the bottom of the fifth. That five run sixth inning was too much for the Aztecs to come back from as they ended up losing 6-4.