Fresno State junior right-hander Jimmy Lambert was named the Mountain West Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday, and Mike Batesole was honored as Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to the regular-season title.
Eight Bulldogs were named to the all-conference squads by MW coaches: Lambert, Ricky Tyler Thomas, Brody Russell and Aaron Arruda were named to the first team, and Tim Borst, Rickey Ramirez, Scott Silva and Jake Stone were selected to the second team.
In his 14th season, Batesole led the Bulldogs to their first Mountain West and sixth regular-season championship in 11 years, including five in the Western Athletic Conference between 2006 and 2011. It was the first Mountain West coaching honor for Batesole.
Lambert also is the first Bulldog to earn the conference’s Pitcher of the Year award and the 10th all-time in any league for the Bulldogs. Lambert was 8-0 in 10 MW starts while allowing 20 earned runs, issuing only 15 walks while striking out 55 with a 2.65 ERA.
The Bulldogs open the Mountain West Tournament at 2 p.m. Thursday in Albuquerque, N.M., facing fifth-seeded Air Force.
In Wednesday’s games:
▪ No. 3 Nevada 13, 6 San Diego State 5: Seventh- and eighth-place hitters Jordan Pearce and Justin Hazard went a combined 6 for 8 with seven RBIs and scored four runs as the Wolf Pack (34-25) capped the opening day with a blowout of the Aztecs (20-37) and advanced to face New Mexico in Thursday’s winners bracket.
▪ No. 5 Air Force 15, No. 4 UNLV 7: Nic Ready hit a grand slam in a five-run fourth and finished with six RBIs as the Falcons (29-25) pounded the Rebels (24-31). Four walks, including two with the bases loaded, helped UNLV score four in the sixth to draw within 8-6, but Air Force scored three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings. Kyle Isbel drove in three runs for the Rebels without a hit on a sacrifice fly and two groundballs.
The Falcons’ 26 hits tied a tournament record and Air Force won its opener for the first time.
▪ No. 6 San Diego State 7, No. 7 San Jose State 3: Justin Wylie hit a ninth-inning walk-off grand slam as the Aztecs (20-36) eliminated the Spartans (17-39). Wylie went 4 for 5. Sophomore right-hander Josh Nashed was the starter and loser for San Jose State, surrendering seven runs, six earned, on nine hits in 8.1 innings.
MW Conference Tournament
- Thursday: No. 1 Fresno State vs. No. 5 Air Force, 2 p.m. at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque, N.M.
- Records: Bulldogs 36-20; Falcons 29-25
- Other games: No. 4 UNLV vs. No. 6 San Diego State, 10 a.m.; No. 2 New Mexico vs. No. 3 Nevada, 6 p.m.
- Webcast/radio: themwc.com/KFIG (AM 940), Fresno State game only
- Of note: Double-elimination format includes three games Friday, two Saturday and an if-necessary game Sunday. … Bulldogs are seventh different team to earn top seed. Fresno State went 5-6 in its first three years of MW postseason competition. … Air Force entered the tournament with a 4-19 championship record over 10 appearances
2016 All-Mountain West Baseball Team
- Bradley Haslam, Jr., DH, Air Force
- Griffin Jax^, Jr., RHP, Air Force
- Tyler Jones, Jr., OF, Air Force
- Aaron Arruda, So., 1B, Fresno State
- Jimmy Lambert, Jr., RHP, Fresno State
- Brody Russell, Sr., OF, Fresno State
- Ricky Tyler Thomas, So., LHP, Fresno State
- TJ Friedl, So., OF, Nevada
- Chris DeVito, Jr., C/DH, New Mexico
- Jared Holley, Sr., 2B, New Mexico
- Carl Stajduhar^, So., 3B, New Mexico
- Tyler Stevens, So., RHP, New Mexico
- D.J. Myers, Jr., RHP, UNLV
- Payton Squier, So., OF, UNLV
- Nic Ready, Fr., 3B, Air Force
- Tim Borst, Sr., RHP, Fresno State
- Rickey Ramirez, So., RHP, Fresno State
- Scott Silva, Jr., 2B, Fresno State
- Jake Stone, Jr., OF, Fresno State
- Miles Mastrobuoni, Jr., 2B, Nevada
- Jordan Pearce, So., 1B, Nevada
- Luis Gonzalez, So., OF/LHP, New Mexico
- Dominic Purpura, Jr., LHP, San Diego State
- Justin Wylie, So., 2B, San Diego State
- Dillan Smith, Sr., OF, San Jose State
- Kyle Isbel, Fr., 3B, UNLV
- Ben Wright, Sr., RHP, UNLV
Tony Gwynn Player of the Year: Carl Stajduhar, So., 3B, New Mexico
Co-Pitchers of the Year: Griffin Jax, Jr., RHP, Air Force; Jimmy Lambert, Jr., RHP, Fresno State
Co-Freshmen of the Year: Nic Ready, 3B, Air Force; Kyle Isbel, 3B, UNLV
Coach of the Year: Mike Batesole, Fresno State
^ 2015 All-MW first- or second-team selection