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Mid-Major Weekly Roundup (April 8-10, 2022): West Coast Conference Continues Banner Year

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

In the 2021 season, the Gonzaga Bulldogs won the West Coast Conference regular season championship and traveled to Eugene in the NCAA Tournament. They won a game, but were then promptly eliminated ending their season. It was a good season for Gonzaga, most definitely one that would be categorized as successful.


But, the Bulldogs were definitely looking for more. Entering the 2022 season, Gonzaga returned several of its key players. Picked first in the WCC preseason poll, there were questions if Gonzaga would live up to the hype.



Through the first two weekends of April, they have.


After an opening weekend that included two losses to Oregon State, Gonzaga has won 19 of its last 25 games. The hot stretch includes an impressive sweep of Oklahoma State on the road.


Offensively, nobody has been more vital to the offense than freshman Cade McGee. He’s hitting .327 posting a .961 OPS while playing all but one game so far this season; his four home runs lead the team. Tyler Rando has been fantastic in his senior season so far, as his .326 batting average is a point behind McGee’s.


On the pitching side of things, the loss of 2021 WCC Pitcher of the Year Alek Jacob has proved to be big at times for the Bulldogs. As a team, Gonzaga has a 4.36 ERA on the season, while in conference play posting a 5.30 ERA in the 12 games played.



The Bulldogs have been very good in high-scoring games. This past weekend was a perfect example, as they scored at least 11 runs in all three games; they finished the weekend winning two out of three against San Francisco.


But, is there anyone that can challenge Gonzaga?


San Diego Toreros


San Diego had a lightning quick start to the season when they won three of their four games against Oregon to open the season. Since then, things have slowed down a bit, but they continue to show they could be a threat to Gonzaga.


San Diego is 7-5 in conference play and just lost a brutal series in Portland. Holding a 4-3 lead headed into the final inning in game three of the series, San Diego gave up a run in the 9th and 10th to lose the series.



Most of their losses this season have been tough. Including their most recent loss, San Diego lost two of three at San Francisco – both of those losses were decided by one run.


In conference play, San Diego has been pitching well, as they’ve posted a 3.25 ERA in 12 games. Their offense hasn’t been an either with Chase Meidroth (.368 average), Caleb Ricketts (.347 average), Jack Costello (.328 average), and Kevin Sim (.325 average) at the top of their lineup.


San Diego has the talent, but they need to win the close games.


It will be a big next few weeks for them, as they will travel to BYU April 21-23 and host Gonzaga in the final weekend series of the year, May 20-21.


BYU Cougars


The other team who could make some noise in the WCC is BYU.


After a down year in 2021, BYU has played strong so far this season, but it has been a bit of a roller coaster.



The Cougars have a series sweep at Arizona State on their resume, but also have multiple bad losses, including losses to Dixie State and Marshall.


They’ve had a tough start to conference play, as in each of their first three series – to Portland, Gonzaga, and St. Mary’s – they’ve only won one of the three games. But, they still are 6-6 in conference play after a dominating sweep at home this past weekend over Santa Clara.


What makes BYU interesting is their upcoming schedule. This upcoming weekend BYU will travel to Nebraska in a mid-season non-conference weekend series. The Cornhuskers came into the season with high hopes but have struggled mightily; both teams need wins this weekend badly.


Following the Nebraska series, BYU will host San Diego and travel to San Francisco on back-to-back weekends. To get right back into things in the WCC, they will need to take advantage of the opportunity they will have to make up ground.

 

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