Sunday, May 17, 2009

Frogs vs. Strasburg: Round 3?

With their sweep of UNLV over the weekend, the Frogs are once again regular season conference champs, a feat they've achieved every season they've played in the Mountain West. Now the rest of the conference comes to Fort Worth as the Frogs try to mirror their regular-season dominance with a 4th consecutive conference tournament crown when the MWC Tournament gets started at Lupton Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

So far, we know that the #1 seed Frogs will be playing their opening game of the tournament Wednesday at 7:00pm. We don't know their opponent for that game yet, but Tuesday's games will determine that. #3 seed BYU takes on #6 Utah in the first game at 3:00pm, and then #4 San Diego State battles #5 UNLV at 7:00pm. The lower-seeded winner from those two games would advance to play TCU Wednesday night, with the higher-seeded winner playing #2 New Mexico at 3:00pm.

If both of the favorites win Tuesday's games, that would match TCU with San Diego State. Aztecs' coach Tony Gwynn has apparently said he would use his #2 starter in the Tuesday game to save his All-Everything ace Stephen Strasburg for a shot at the Frogs. In their two previous meetings, Strasburg has bested the Frogs winning both times while fanning a combined 28 batters in 15 innings of work, while only giving up 7 base hits in that time.

This all-too possible scenario would put the Frogs in danger of having to battle through the loser's bracket in order to reclaim their conference title, so it's safe to say that it would be their most important game of the year to date. You can buy all-tournament tickets right now, or you can get single-day passes when they go on sale Tuesday morning at 8:00am.