Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aggie baseball must take care of business in four-game series at Sacramento State

(Photo of Aggie shortstop Zach Voight by Niki Rhynes)

What will the New Mexico State Aggies need to do in order to capture a Western Athletic Conference baseball regular-season championship?

Win every series they play in league competition by taking two of three games, and sweep a couple other three-game sets along the way.

This weekend could be a good opportunity to do the latter against Sacramento State — the two teams will play three WAC games from Friday to Sunday, and then compete in an out-of-conference, head-to-head matchup on Monday.

Yes, taking all three WAC games of this series appears optimal, and sweeping all four contests would certainly help NMSU’s cause of at least maintaining their No. 19 status in the RPI, and as an at-large candidate going into the NCAA Tournament.

Sacramento State, with its 16-6 record and an RPI ranking of No. 173, may not be the doormat of the WAC this year — they opened league play by taking two of three games at Louisiana Tech last weekend — but the 25-9 Aggies look to be the better club, and have historically beaten the Hornets.

After this road trip, NMSU will then host Louisiana Tech for a three-game set before their schedule really begins to ramp up.

A two-game series at Baylor follows — the Bears are ranked No. 8 in the RPI — before the Aggies return home to take on Texas Tech of the Big 12 — a team NMSU has already beaten once this year in Lubbock.

Then it’s off to Hawaii for a three-game set, followed by another WAC home series, this one coming against Fresno State.

In other words, the make-or-break portion of the Aggies schedule is right around the corner.

Last weekend saw NMSU take two of three games from Nevada, although didn’t play its best ball — in a long baseball season, even the top clubs aren’t going to perform at a peak level every time out.

The good news is, NMSU still took the series from the Wolf Pack.

They do need to get it together, however, and continue taking advantage of the early portion of their WAC docket.

This weekend’s series against Sacramento State is yet another opportunity to take care of such business.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

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