Baseball Claims Fifth Mountain West Championship in Six Years

May 26, 2018

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SAN DIEGO --  The San Diego State baseball team claimed their fifth Mountain West Championship in the past six years with a 14-5 victory over No. 4-seeded UNLV on Saturday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Freshman right-handed pitcher/infielder Casey Schmitt was named Mountain West Championships Most Valuable Player, while Dean Nevarez, Garrett Hill, and Jacob Erickson were named to the All-Tournament team. 

After SDSU opened its scoring with a Dean Nevarez two-run homer -- his eighth of the season -- SDSU put up two impressive offensive innings to take control of the game, batting through the entire order in both the fourth and sixth to score four runs and five runs, respectively.

In the fourth, the Aztecs loaded the bases for Casey Schmitt, who delivered a double off the left-field wall to plate both Chad Bible and Julian Escobedo. After a UNLV pitching change, Matt Rudick reached and advanced to second on an error by third baseman Dillon Johnson, scoring both Nevarez and Schmitt.

SDSU was able to capitalize on another costly mistake by the Rebels in the bottom of the sixth. With one out and Schmitt and Jacob Maekawa both on base, Rudick singled to center field where centerfielder Kyle Isbel misplayed the ball, allowing Schmitt and Maekawa to score on the mishap. Rudick ended up at third base on the play and later scored on a David Hensley single, before Chase Calabuig and Jordan Verdon each recording RBI base-hits to finish the outburst.

The Rebels put together one big inning on the night, scoring four times in the top half of the fourth. With two on and no outs, Nick Rodriguez doubled to right, scoring Johnson. Nick Ames added a run on a sacrifice fly and Jack-Thomas Wold doubled in a pair with two outs. UNLV added one run in the sixth when Wold grounded into a fielder’s choice to second base, scoring Max Smith.

Jacob Erickson was lights out for SDSU out of the bullpen, throwing 3.2 innings of scoreless relief and striking out two while only giving up one hit. Erickson earned his second victory of the Mountain West Championships with his effort.

Hensley and Nevarez each went 3-for-5 with two RBIs while Schmitt led the team with three runs driven in. 

NOTES
Title Town

The San Diego State Baseball program wins its fifth Mountain West championship in the last six seasons (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018). The Aztecs are the only team in the nation to have won five conference tournament championships in the last six years.
The Aztecs have won a Mountain West best six postseason baseball championships (2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018).
The baseball program wins its 28th conference title in program history (2018*, 2017*, 2015*, 2014*, 2013*, 2004, 2002, 2000*, 1994^, 1991*, 1988, 1986, 1986*, 1983, 1981, 1979, 1960, 1958, 1957, 1953, 1952^, 1947, 1946, 1942, 1941^, 1938, 1937, 1936^).
* - indicates conference tournament championship; ^ indicates tied for regular season championship
This marks the just the second time San Diego State has won the Mountain West Conference postseason event without losing a game and the first time since 2000.
Tonight marks the first time the Aztecs have won the conference postseason tournament on its home field since defeating Hawaiíi, 9-2, in the 1986 WAC Championship.
San Diego State is 5-1 the last six times it has had an opportunity to clinch the Mountain West Conference tournament championship.

The Athletic Department
San Diego State claims its 41st team conference championship since the beginning of the 2012-13 campaign (35 of those have been in the Mountain West Conference).

Game Notes
Tonight, San Diego State was 13-of-25 (.520) with runners on base and 9-of-16 (.563) with runners in scoring position.
All nine SDSU batters had at least one hit, eight scored a run and six had at least one RBI.
San Diego State ends the home portion of its season with a 25-10 mark at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
San Diego State is 10-2 in its last 12 home games.
For the third consecutive game, SDSU rallied to win. On Thursday, the Aztecs trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, yesterday, SDSU trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the third and today, San Diego State was down 4-2 entering the bottom of the 4th.
SDSU's bullpen pitched 14.1 innings during the MW Championship and allowed just one run and two hits. 

Team Notes
SDSU is now 23-6 in the Mountain West tourney since 2013. 
San Diego State extends its MW tournament record win total to 50.
San Diego State has won 22 consecutive games when scoring at least 11 runs.
-  SDSU had a streak of 9.1 innings where the pitching staff needed to face just the minimum snapped in the second inning. SDSU allowed two hits over that span, but induced a double play on each of the ensuing at-bats.

Series Notes
San Diego State is 7-1 in eight games this season against UNLV and 13-4 in its last 17 games against the Rebels.
- The Aztecs have won all five games against the Rebels at Tony Gwynn Stadium this season.
- SDSU has won the last seven encounters with UNLV in San Diego.
- SDSU leads the all-time series, 93-61.

Head Coach Mark Martinez
- Becomes the fastest coach in Mountain West Conference baseball history to record three postseason championships (does so in his fourth season as a head coach).
- In his fourth season, claims his 143rd victory as a head coach (35.8 wins per season).
- Owns an 18-5 record in the MW tourney as the head coach.

Junior, C Dean Nevarez
3-5, HR (8), 2 R, 2 RBIs
In 13 career games against the Rebels (11 starts), he has six home runs, three doubles and one triple.
- Posted ninth multi-RBI game of the 2018 campaign.
Recorded his 13th multiple-hit game of the season.
Hit his 19th career home run which ties him for the team lead among active players and moves him into a tie for 17th place in program history.

Freshman 3B Casey Schmitt
2-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Became the fifth freshman in league history to win tournament MVP and the first
since SDSU's Ty France won it in 2013. 

Posted his fourth multiple-RBI game of the season.

UP NEXT

SDSU awaits its NCAA tournament fate with the selection show scheduled for 9:00 a.m. PT on ESPNU.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

MVP: Casey Schmitt, San Diego State

Jacob Erickson, San Diego State

Garrett Hill, San Diego State

Dean Nevarez, San Diego State

Dillon Shrum, Nevada

Andrew Mitchel, San José State

Kyle Isbel, UNLV

Dillon Johnson, UNLV

Chase Maddux, UNLV

Jack-Thomas Wold, UNLV

 

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