WAC has 17 players drafted
Appeal Sports Writer
The Western Athletic Conference fared well in the recently concluded annual Major League draft.
Seventeen WAC players were chosen – six from Fresno State, four from Hawai’i, three from New Mexico State and two apiece from San Jose State and Nevada (Shawn Scobee and Tim Schoeninger).
The six draftees by Fresno State matched the mark set back in 2004. Five of the six Bulldog players drafted came in the first 10 rounds which is a school record.
Hawai’i ace pitcher Steven Wright, who was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Indians, was the 56th player drafted.
Fresno State outfielder Nick Moresi was claimed in the third round by the Astros. FSU pitchers Andy Underwood (5th, Padres), Doug Fister (7th, Mariners) and Eddie Romero (9th, Diamondbacks) plus shortstop Christian Vitters (10th, A’s) and first baseman Kent Sakamoto (12th, Pirates) also were selected.
Besides Wright, the Rainbows had Matt Inouye (21st, White Sox), catcher Estaban Lopez (25th, Dodgers) and reliever Darrell Fisherbaugh (50th, Red Sox) selected.
San Jose State lefty Branden Dewing, who pitched so brilliantly against Fresno State at the WAC tournament, was selected in the 16th round by the A’s. Teammate Beadon Fromm was taked in the 41st round by the Mariners.
Luke Hopkins, a first baseman from New Mexico State, was taken in the fifth round by the Blue Jays.
Until the WAC takes on a 10th basketball team, Jeff Hurd, senior associate commissioner, said the schedule making will continue to be a problem.
Hurd did get some help from a firm in Pennsylvania with this year’s men’s and women’s schedules, which will be released at a later date.
“You are limited in what you can do in a nine-man format,” Hurd said. “When you have an odd number of teams, you don’t have travel partners. There is only so much we can do.
“In a perfect world, you would reverse the schedule for the women. Reversing the schedule doesn’t work 100 percent of the time.”
In one instance, there is a team that must travel to Hawai’i and Louisiana Tech on the same trip. Not a good situation.
A year ago, the conference had all schools travel to Louisana Tech and New Mexico State on the same trip because they were the eastern-most schools. That won’t hapen this year.
According to Hurd, Idaho and Nevada will make separate trips to each of those schools while Hawai’i, Fresno State, Boise State, San Jose State and Utah State will play those schools in consecutive games on the road.
Also, Hurd said that Nevada could still host a Bracket Buster game this year despite the fact that it has hosted games the previous three seasons.
“It’s determined by the conference schedule,” Hurd said. “If a team is away the week before and week after, we don’t want them on the road the week of the Bracket Buster. The other thing is the non-conference schedule and how important it is to have home games.”
BASEBALL BIDS SOON
Hurd, who ran the recent WAC baseball tournament, said bids have yet to go out for next year’s tournament.
Hurd expects Nevada to bid for the tournament, and coach Gary Powers already has indicated he would love to host the event.
Hurd said he will meet with the coaches in August and that he should have all of the bids at that time.
Realitistically, Nevada, Fresno State and Sacramento would be the logical choices. The latter would be a good city if the Triple-A ballpark could be utilized. Hawai’i hosted past WAC tournaments, but Hurd said that Hawai’i would really have to help with transportation costs of the other schools for that to be a viable option.
Hurd did say there would be some simple standards that teams would have to meet to host the tournament.
While we’re on the subject of baseball, the WAC should be thinking about expanding to eight teams and playing a home-and-home regular-season format. Hurd said there are several schools interested in being baseball-only members, including Dallas Baptist.
University of Nevada’s Meghann Morrill and Sarah Smith finished ninth and 24th in the 10m air rifle competition last week at the USA National Shooting Championships in Columbus, Ga.
Morrill, who will be a junior finished with a score of 391. Smith finished with 385, but was 15 spots lower. Heather Horn, an incoming freshman, finished in 39th place.
Ryan Tanoue, who finished his eligibility this past May, was third in the men’s 10m event, scoring 591. He was five points out of first place.
NEVADA HOSTS CAMP
The Nevada women’s basketball coaching staff will hold its girls day camp June 26-29 at the Virginia Street Gym.
The camp is open to girls in grades 3-8 and is designed to give young players an opportunity to practice various fundamentals and a chance to improve already developed skills.
Nevada will also host an overnight camp Aug. 7-10 for girls in grades 4-12.
For more information, call 784-4062 or 1-800-233-8928.