The following was compiled by Mike Samuels, with help from Jack Kuestermeyer and the Western Athletic Conference:
Nevada baseball (30-21, 10-5 WAC) seeks its first-ever WAC Championship in Hawai`i
(28-22, 8-7 WAC) this week. You can follow all the action here
. With that in mind, here are a few important points to ponder:
- The Wolf Pack is 10-5 in WAC action and one-half game in front on second place Sacramento State, which is 11-7 and has completed WAC regular season play.
- In the event of a tie, the WAC will award a co-championship for the regular season title but will use a tie-breaker to determine who gets the top seed in the WAC Tournament.
- The winner of the WAC Tournament receives an auto-bid to the NCAA Regionals.
- Both New Mexico State and Hawai`i are in reach of first place, each standing at 8-7 with three WAC games to play.
How can Nevada secure the WAC Title?
- Win two of three games in Hawai`i. Doing so would put Nevada at 12-6, one game ahead of Sac State in the final standings. This would put Hawai`i at 9-9. New Mexico State could at best finish 11-7 if it won all three games against San Jose State this weekend. In this scenario, Nevada would also secure the No. 1 seed for the WAC Tournament.
What if Nevada only wins one game against Hawai`i?
- If Nevada only wins one game, it will end tied for first place with Sacramento State and also possibly New Mexico State (if the Aggies sweep all three from San Jose State).
- In the event of a tie, the WAC will award a co-championship. So, it is possible that Nevada, Sacramento State and New Mexico State will all be crowned 2012 WAC Champions.
- The closest call to a tri-championship for WAC baseball occurred in 1968. That season Arizona, Arizona State and New Mexico all finished 6-6 in WAC play placing them in a three-way tie for the Southern Division title. Arizona was awarded the title on a run-differential tie-breaker ruling. However, this was not for the WAC Championship as they most likely still had to play the Northern Division champ, BYU, to determine the outright WAC Champion.
- A tie-breaker will be used to determine the WAC Tournament seedings in the event of a tie in regular season play.
- In the event of a two-way tie, Sacramento State would take the No. 1 seed and Nevada the No.2 seed, due to the Hornets winning two games in the regular season series meeting between the two schools.
- In the event of a three-way tie, Sacramento State would take the No. 1 seed (having defeated both Nevada and New Mexico State in the respective regular season three-game series). New Mexico State would take the No. 2 seed (having defeated Nevada in the regular season head-to-head three-game series).
What if Nevada loses all three games against Hawai`i?
- Best-case scenario - The Pack would finish at 10-8. This would guarantee them to finish in third behind both Hawai`i (sitting at 11-7 after beating Nevada three straight games) and Sacramento State (11-7). Nevada gets a No. 3 seed in the WAC Tournament.
- Middle-case Scenario - New Mexico State takes two games from San Jose State this weekend to finish tied with Nevada at 10-8. Nevada finishes in a tie for third place but gets a No.4 seed in the conference tournament due to the tie-breaker.
- Worst-case Scenario - New Mexico State sweeps San Jose State this weekend to finish at 11-7. Nevada finishes in fourth place and gets a No. 4 seed in the WAC Tournament.
What is the importance of being a top seed in the WAC Tournament?
- The No.1 and No. 2 seeds in the WAC Tournament receive a first-round bye. Not only does this mean the top two seeds have one less game to play and get more rest, but it also allows them (theoretically) to throw their top pitcher in the second round of the tournament.
With all this in mind, here are some quick facts on the Nevada/Hawai`i matchup:
- Hawai`i is currently tied for third place with New Mexico State at 8-7.
- Hawai`i won three of the four games from Nevada last season in Reno.
- Hawai`i is 24-11 at home and 5-1 in WAC play in Honolulu.
- Nevada leads the series with UH (30-23) in WAC play.
- UH holds a 15-11 advantage in WAC games played at Les Murakami Stadium.