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Mountain West Conference Baseball: UNLV Enters Weekend With Conference's Best Record

The college baseball season is only two weeks old, but the team most would have expected to be atop the Mountain West standings is off to a slow start. The No. 8 TCU Horned Frogs are 4-4 while the UNLV Runnin' Rebels are 8-2.

Team (Rk.)  Record
UNLV  8-2
BYU  5-3
TCU (8)  4-4
Air Force  4-4
San Diego State  1-7
Utah  0-5
New Mexico  0-8


Air Force Falcons
The Falcons are playing in the Coca-Cola Classic this weekend in Surprise, Ariz., at the Kansas City Royals' spring training facility. The tournament started on Thursday, and the Falcons won a 10-8 game against Northern Illinois. Freshman outfielder Patrick Lobo hit the first home run of his career, and Evan Abrecht picked up his third win in as many games.

The Falcons will face UC Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield and Kansas over the next three days.

BYU Cougars
The Cougars started their weekend series against Washington on Thursday with a 3-2 victory. Senior outfielder Stephen Wells is on a five-game hitting streak and scored twice. Ryan Bernal drove in two of the Cougars' runs, including the game-winning one. Chris Capper struck out 10 in seven innings.

New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico is still looking for their first win of the season when they take on Texas-San Antonio in a four-game series. The Roadrunners are coming off a victory over the Houston Cougars on Tuesday. The Lobos will need another big weekend out of Mitchell Garver, who was named MWC Player of the Week last week, if they hope to win a game.

San Diego State Aztecs
The Aztecs will face stiff tests this weekend as they participate in the annual USD Tournament. Oklahoma (No. 3), Cal (No. 14) and Connecticut (No. 22) are all ranked in Baseball America's Top 25 poll. The tournament started on Thursday with 4-0 loss to Oklahoma.

TCU Horned Frogs
TCU's pitching has been outstanding, even with Matt Purke out with an injury. Kyle Winkler, Andrew Mitchell and Steven Maxwell are all doing their parts in keeping TCU in games, but the bats haven't been as effective early on. As a team they are hitting .260 with three homers, low-lighted by outfielder Jason Coats' .125/.243/.156 line in eight games.

They dropped two of three games against Cal State Fullerton last weekend and saw Dallas Baptist battle back in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday. They face Texas Tech this weekend, and Matt Purke is scheduled to start on Sunday.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels
The Rebels went 1-1 in a midweek series against TCU's opponent this weekend, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. They will look to improve their conference-best 8-2 record with a three-game road trip against the Nevada Wolf Pack. The Pack is 0-6 and had their Tuesday game postponed due to poor field conditions.

The Rebels' Rance Roundy is 16-for-36 with four doubles, four home runs, four stolen bases and 10 RBI.

Utah Utes
The Utes are the other winless team in the MWC and have played the fewest games. They dropped two games to Cal to start the season and then were swept in a three-game set by Arkansas last week. Things don't get any easier this week in the Houston College Classic. They will face the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday, the Baylor Bears on Saturday and the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday.

The Friday game will have future high draft selection John Stilson duel Utah's Rick Anton. The Utes will miss Kentucky RHP Alex Meyer, who pitches on Saturday. At 6-foot-9, Meyer is armed with a mid-90s fastball.