Baseball

Series Preview: SJSU

26 Th11 2021 | 03:58

RENO, Nev. – As the final weekend of the 2021 regular season approaches, the Nevada baseball team is in a prime position to lock up the Mountain West regular season championship and earn the league’s automatic bid to NCAA Regionals.

With just two victories during the four-game series this weekend against San José State, the Wolf Pack will be crowned Mountain West champions for the first time since 2018.

A regular season conference championship would have considerable historical significance as well. If Nevada is crowned conference champions this weekend, it would mark the Wolf Pack’s third Mountain West title as the team also won the regular season in 2015 and 2018. With no conference tournament this year either, Nevada would earn the Mountain West’s automatic bid to NCAA Regionals, which the team has not competed in since 2000 when the program was a member of the Big West Conference. In the history of the program, the Wolf Pack has made just four NCAA Regionals appearances and has never advanced to Super Regionals. The Pack has competed in NCAA Regionals in 1994, 1997, 1999 and 2000.

The team chasing Nevada in the league standings is San Diego State, the only other team that has not yet been eliminated from title contention. Like mentioned earlier, Nevada controls its own destiny and can clinch the conference title and eliminate SDSU with just two wins against the Spartans this weekend. The Aztecs best remaining hope is to sweep New Mexico in its final regular season series and see how the Nevada series against SJSU plays out.

It’s been one heck of a run for the Wolf Pack to get to this point as the team is currently riding an 11-game conference win streak. That 11-game conference win streak, which dates back to the second game of the doubleheader at Air Force on April 24, is believed to be the longest in program history. It is at least the longest since 1974, which is when accurate record keeping began, but the program became Division I in 1970.

ON THE AIR
John Ramey and TJ Sarbacker will split play-by-play duties this weekend with Ramey calling Friday and Sunday’s games and Sarbacker calling Saturday’s doubleheader. Their broadcasts can be heard in Northern Nevada on CBS Sports Radio 94.1 FM and 1450 AM with a 20 minute pregame show prior to first pitch for all four games. Fans can also tune in to listen to Ramey and Sarbacker’s broadcasts online at TuneIn.com or via the TuneIn app.

All four games can be viewed live on the Mountain West Network.

POP-FLYS
-With just two wins over SJSU this weekend, Nevada will be crowned MW Champions.
Tyler Bosetti set the NCAA record for consecutive games with a home run (9) on April 11.
Dillan Shrum is batting .492 in conference play this season
-Nevada is nearing its first NCAA Regionals berth since 2000
-The Pack’s team batting average of .311 ranks eighth in the nation
-Nevada will honor 11 student-athletes as part of Senior Day on Sunday

TITLE CLINCHING SCENARIOS
For the most part the Mountain West Championship clinching scenarios are pretty simple for the Wolf Pack, win at least two games this weekend and be crowned conference champs. However, if the scenario starts to get a bit complex this is how it will all break down.

HOW NEVADA WINS THE TITLE:

• If San Diego State sweeps New Mexico…
-The Aztecs would finish with a .639-win percentage.
-Nevada could secure the title with two victories over San José State, as the Wolf Pack would finish with a .645-win percentage.

• If San Diego State wins two of three against New Mexico…
-The Aztecs would finish with a .611-win percentage.
-Nevada could secure the title with one victory over San José State, as the Wolf Pack would finish with a .613-win percentage.

• If San Diego State wins one of three against New Mexico…
-The Aztecs would finish with a .583-win percentage.
-Nevada could secure the title with one victory over San José State, as the Wolf Pack would finish with a .613-win percentage.

• If San Diego State is swept by New Mexico…
-The Aztecs would finish with a .556-win percentage.
-Nevada would not need a victory to clinch the title, as the Wolf Pack cannot finish the regular-season with a win percentage lower than .581.

BOSETTI MAKES HISTORY
In his first at-bat of the game against Arizona State on April 11, Tyler Bosetti connected on his 11th home run of the season, which gave him a home run in nine consecutive games, setting a new NCAA Division I record.

Bosetti, who tied the original record of eight games that previous Sunday, broke the record previously held by Duke’s Ryan Jackson in 1994, and Georgia Tech’s Andy Bruce in 1991. The Vacaville, Calif. native now has 11 home runs on the season, which is tied for the team lead and ranks second in the Mountain West. Bosetti went 4-for-5 in that game against Arizona State, with a home run, a double, three RBI and two runs scored. During his nine-game home run streak, Bosetti is batted .442 with 10 home runs, two doubles, two triples, 19 hits, 21 RBI and 20 runs scored. Bosetti’s streak did end the following weekend, ending the streak at nine games.

In addition to his home runs, Bosetti has also been one of the league’s best two bag hitters this season. To date he has hit 18 doubles, which ranks second in the Mountain West. His doubles per game average of 0.46 per game is fifth-best nationally.

THE 400 CLUB
As it stands right now the Wolf Pack has two players batting over .400 this season with Dillan Shrum leading the way with a batting average of .434 and Dario Gomez right behind him batting .402 through 39 games. Shrum has been one of the hottest hitters for the Wolf Pack as of late. After missing a handful of games earlier this season, since Shrum returned to the lineup on April 10 he is batting .484 with 30 hits, 25 RBI, 18 runs scored, eight doubles, a triple, eight home runs and is slugging an incredible 1.032. Getting Shrum’s bat back into the lineup has equated to some team success as well as the Wolf Pack is 13-6 since Shrum returned on April 10. He is also currently riding a nine-game hitting streak.

UP NEXT
Should the Wolf Pack clinch the Mountain West Championship and earn the league’s automatic bid to NCAA Regionals, the team will wait to hear its seeding in regionals with the selection show set for 9 a.m. Monday morning.