Baseball Continues Strong Start, Defeats UCSB 8-4
Feb. 18, 2018
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State baseball team won its second consecutive game to open the 2018 season on Saturday night, defeating UC Santa Barbara 8-4 at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Reminiscent of the first run of Friday night's opener, the Aztecs tallied its first run of the game in the first inning with a Jack Dashwood pitch sailing high and inside to Chase Calabuig and getting by UCSB catcher Eric Yang and allowing Julian Escobedo to score.
Harrison Pyatt started off his night on a strong note by not allowing a hit to each of the first 10 batters he faced. Pyatt was later relieved by Adrian Mardueno, who notched his first win of the season after allowing two hits and no earned runs in 1.2 innings of work.
Facing a 4-2 deficit, Calabuig picked a picture-perfect time to hit SDSU's first home run of the season, sending a ball off the Tony Gwynn mural in right field for a game-tying two-run home run in the fifth inning.
In the ensuing at-bat, Dean Nevarez hit the first of his two doubles on the day in the right-center field gap to give the Aztecs another scoring opportunity. Jordan Verdon delivered on that opportunity, hitting a go-ahead single up the middle for a 5-4 SDSU lead.
With the bases loaded and two down in the bottom of the sixth, Chad Bible cashed in during a pivotal moment, scorching a ball into the right-centerfield gap that eventually bounced all the way to the wall for a 3-RBI triple to bring the score to its final, 8-4.
Jorge Fernandez and Jacob Flores teamed up to assure that the four-run lead was safe, as Fernandez recorded two hitless innings with three strikeouts. Flores, in his collegiate debut, came out to start the ninth inning and after walking his first batter, the southpaw settled in and struck out each of the following three batters to end the ballgame.
- San Diego State has scored eight or more runs in each of its first two games of the 2018 season, the first time the Aztecs have done that since 2008 (Feb. 22,
- The Aztecs have now won 51 consecutive games when leading after eight innings, 23 consecutive games when leading after seven innings, and 13 consecutive games when scoring five or more runs.
- SDSU pitching has 27 strikeouts over its first two games, the highest total over a two-game span since striking out 28 against UC Riverside over Feb. 19 - 20, 2015.
- SDSU has allowed four or fewer hits in back-to-back games for the first time since May 21 & 24, 2011 against UNLV.
- San Diego State has won six games in its last eight meetings with UC Santa Barbara.
- The Aztecs are 12-5 in season-opening series games since the start of the 2013 season.
- Eight of nine Aztecs in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit for the second consecutive game.
- Saturday night's attendance of 1,682 is the ninth largest ever at Tony Gwynn Stadium, and the largest since May 8, 2009, when Stephen Strasburg threw a no-hitter against Air Force in front of 3,337.
Chase Calabuig: 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2B
- Hit game-tying two-run home run in the 5th innings (projected distance: 411 feet). Also SDSU's first home run of the 2018 season.
- Recorded his second career game with multiple extra-base hits.
- Has reached base in 21 consecutive home games.
- Extends hitting streak to a team-best nine games and his team-best on-base streak to 16, having recorded a hit in each of the final seven games last season.
- The team is now 15-5 in
- Slashing .556/.600/1.111 to lead the team in all three statistics.
Harrison Pyatt: 4.1 IP, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 ER, 2 H
- Did not allow a hit to the first 10 batters he faced.
- Had streak of 9.2 consecutive scoreless innings snapped in the fourth inning.
Jorge Fernandez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
- In his career against UCSB: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, .052 opponent batting average.
- Posted his sixth scoreless outing in his last eight appearances.
Chad Bible: 1-for-3, 3 RBI, 3B
- Recorded bases-clearing, 3-RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score to its final 8-4.
- Set a new career-high with 3 RBI.
Jordan Verdon: 1-for-4, RBI
- Hit go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning.
- Has reached base in 55 of his last 64 games played.
Julian Escobedo: 2-for-4, 3 R
- Set a new career-high with three runs scored.
- Recorded his third career multi-hit game.
Dean Nevarez: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B
- Recorded 19th career multi-hit game.
- Recorded his sixth career game with multiple extra-base hits.
- Raised his career batting average in opening-weekend series to .467 (7-for-15).
Jacob Flores: 1 IP, 3 K, 1 BB
- Recorded back-to-back-to-back strikeouts to end the game in his collegiate debut.
San Diego State looks to complete the sweep of UCSB tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Junior transfer RHP Garrett Hill is set to make his Aztec debut tomorrow, while the Gauchos will send RHP Chris Clements (1-7, 7.24 ERA in 2017) to the mound. The game will be live on XTRA 1360.