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Baseball To Open 2014 Season at San Jose State

Junior right-hander Michael Cederoth will be on the mound for the Aztecs to start Friday's season opener at San Jose State.
Junior right-hander Michael Cederoth will be on the mound for the Aztecs to start Friday's season opener at San Jose State.

Feb. 12, 2014

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WHAT'S ON TAP THIS WEEK IN AZTEC BASEBALL
San Diego State opens its 2014 season with three contests at San Jose State this week. The opener of that series scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14, when the Aztecs visit Municipal Stadium in San Jose for a 6:00 p.m. contest. The teams will also meet in single games on Saturday (Feb. 15) and Sunday (Feb. 16) at 1:00 p.m. each day. The Spartans join the Mountain West this season and this series will mark the first time that San Diego State has ever started a season with conference games.

AZTECS ON THE AIR
The Friday and Sunday contests at San Jose State will have live video streaming on the Mountain Digital Network. To access the game on your computer or other Internet-enabled device, go to the SDSU home page at GoAztecs.com and click on the camera icon on the left side under the appropriate event. Eight of SDSU's 29 home games this season will be streamed live on the Mountain Digital Network. A total of 14 will be broadcast live on ESPN 1700 in San Diego with the remaining eight carried live on KCR, the SDSU campus radio station.

SERIES RECORDS
San Diego State leads the series with San Jose State 52-26 since the teams first met during the 1938 season. The teams have not met since the 1999 season when the Spartans swept a three-game series in San Jose while both teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference. This will mark the fourth time that SDSU and San Jose State have been members of the same conference. They were also together in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (1940-49), the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (1970-76) and the WAC (1997-99). The Aztecs are 30-11 at home and 20-15 away against the Spartans with two more SDSU wins coming at neutral sites.

FOR OPENERS
San Diego State has a record of 48-26-1 in season openers since 1936. Since attaining Division I status in 1969, the Aztecs are 27-15 in their annual debuts. SDSU has won only five of its last 16 season debuts. The Aztecs, however, have won four of their last seven season openers including victories over Cal Poly (2007), University of San Diego (2008 and 2013) and Bethune-Cookman (2009). When opening the season away from home, SDSU has an all-time record of 20-15 and the Aztecs are 14-7 as a Division I school when beginning the year away.

HEAD COACH Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn enters his 12th season as San Diego State's head coach after being named to the position in Sept. 2001. He became just the fourth head coach in SDSU history since baseball was elevated to major sport status in 1936. In 2002, he served as a volunteer coach for the Aztecs under Jim Dietz, who retired at the end of that season. In 2004, Gwynn led his squad to the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship and was named the MWC coach of the year. In 2013 his Aztecs won the Mountain West Tournament and advanced to the NCAA RegionalsA former Aztec who played baseball at San Diego State from 1979 to 1981, Gwynn concluded a 20-year major league career with the San Diego Padres in 2001. With a career batting average of .338, he won eight National League batting titles, five Gold Gloves, and made 15 appearances in the annual All-Star Game. Tony Gwynn was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 29, 2007. His overall record entering the 2014 campaign stands at 321-342 (.484). His mark in conference contests is 162-122 (.570).

STAFF ADDITIONS
The Aztec baseball program has added a pair of new coaches and a new Director of Baseball Operations for the 2014 season.
Taking over as the pitching coach is John Pawlowski, most recently the head coach at Auburn. A former Major League pitcher with the Chicago White Sox, he was also head coach at College of Charleston as well as an assistant at both Clemson and Arizona State.
Joe Oliveira takes over as the team's volunteer assistant coach. A three-time all-conference selection as a catcher at University of the Pacific, he played in the Baltimore Orioles organization for three seasons before beginning his coaching career during the summer of 2013 at Battle creek in the Northwoods League.
Former Aztec outfielder Landon Burt steps into the role of Director of Baseball Operations for the 2014 season. Burt was an all-Mountain West Conference honoree in 2004 when he batted .321 with six home runs and 30 stolen bases and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins that year.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Juniors Greg Allen (OF) and Michael Cederoth (RHP) have been named preseason All-Americans by Baseball America. Allen, a second-team selection, hit .299 last season and was named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Regional at UCLA and at the Mountain West Tournament in Fresno. Cederoth was a second-team all-Mountain West performer a year ago, leading the league in strikeouts with 109 over 95.2 innings. In addition, Cederoth was listed as the No. 11 junior for the 2014 Major League draft while Allen was No. 38.

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Junior second baseman Tim Zier and center fielder Greg Allen have been tabbed to the Preseason all-Mountain West team in a vote of the league's coaches. Zier is the team's leading returning hitter (.341, 14 2B, 41 RBI, 18 SB). Allen led the Aztecs in runs scored (51), walks (36) and stolen bases (25) while hitting .2999 as a sophomore last season.

AZTECS LEAGUE CO-FAVORITES
San Diego State is the co-favorite along with New Mexico to finish first in the regular-season Mountain West Conference baseball standings. In a vote of the seven MWC head coaches, the Aztecs received three first-place votes and 43 as did the Lobos. The remaining first-place vote went to ULNV, which was picked third. 2014 MWC Preseason Poll:

Rk. Team (1st place votes)  Pts.
 1. San Diego State (3)......43
    New Mexico (3)...........43
 3. UNLV (1).................40
 4. Fresno State.............25
 5. Nevada...................19
 6. Air Force................14
 7. San Jose State...........12