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Baseball Set to Open 2013 Campaign at USD

Sophomore Michael Cederoth will be SDSU's starting pitcher in Friday night's season opener.
Sophomore Michael Cederoth will be SDSU's starting pitcher in Friday night's season opener.

Feb. 13, 2013

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WHAT'S ON TAP THIS WEEK IN AZTEC BASEBALL
San Diego State opens its 2013 campaign with three away contests against the University of San Diego. The season opener is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15, when the Aztecs visit Fowler Park for a 6:00 p.m. contest. SDSU will return to USD's new home field for contests on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1:00 p.m. This marks first time in the past 4 seasons that SDSU has opened away from home.

AZTECS ON THE AIR
Both Friday and Saturday's contests at the University of San Diego will be televised live by Fox Sports San Diego with Mark Sweeney and Mike Pomeranz calling the action. All three games of this weekend's series will be broadcast live on two San Diego radio stations: XTRA 1360 AM and XX Sports 1090 AM. The broadcast on 1360 AM can be accessed at SDSU's baseball web site (www.GoAztecs.com).

SERIES RECORDS
San Diego State leads the series with USD 65-52-3 since the teams first met during the 1962 season. That record includes a pair of losses to the Toreros at Tony Gwynn Stadium during the 2012 season. USD has won the last four meetings between the teams with the Aztec's last victory in the series coming on Feb, 28, 2010 (9-5) on the Toreros' home field. The Aztecs are 46-30-2 at home and 19-22 away against the Toreros with a tie coming at a neutral site.

FOR OPENERS
San Diego State has a record of 47-26-1 in season openers since 1936. Since attaining Division I status in 1969, the Aztecs are 26-15 in their annual debuts. SDSU has won only four of its last 15 season debuts. The Aztecs, however, have won three of their last six season openers including victories over Cal Poly (2007), University of San Diego (2008) and Bethune-Cookman (2009). When opening the season away from home, SDSU has an all-time record of 19-15 and the Aztecs are 13-7 as a Division I school when beginning the year away.

WEEKEND ROTATION
SDSU's pitching rotation for the opening weekend includes Michael Cederoth on Friday along with Philip Walby and Ryan Doran on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Cederoth is coming off a freshman season in which he went 4-4 with a 4.14 earned run average as the Aztecs' Friday starter. Walby (1-3, 5.50 in 2012) has battled back problems his first two seasons at SSU and appears to be fully healthy entering the 2013 campaign. Doran (3-6, 4.50 in 2012) will continue as the Aztecs' Sunday starter after filling that role as a first-year junior last season.

THE SCHEDULE
San Diego State's strength of schedule has been ranked 40th in the nation by Boyd's World and its non-conference schedule is No. 4 of 298 Division I teams. Among the teams on the 2013 slate are four ranked among the top 25 in the preseason polls. That group includes #1 Arkansas (CB), #6 Oregon State (BA), #12 San Diego and #21 New Mexico (BA). (CB=Collegiate Baseball; BA=Baseball America) Also on the schedule are one other team that advanced to the NCAA regional tournaments last season in Fresno State.

STREAKING
Sophomore second baseman Tim Zier and catcher Jake Romanski both finished the 2012 campaign with a five-game hitting streaks. Zier had a team-high 21 game streak during the 2012 campaign that was the longest by an Aztec since Quintin Berry (now with the Detroit Tigers) had a 27-game streak in 2005. Romanski and Matt Muñoz had 10game hitting streaks last year as well.

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Junior second baseman Tim Zier has 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 (.320.318, 11 2B 10 2B, 32 RBI).

DRAFTED AZTECS
Three current member of the SDSU squad have been previously drafted by Major League clubs. That duo includes veteran pitchers Michael Cederoth of Steele Canyon HS in San Diego and Westview HS (42nd rd. in 2011, Arizona Diamondbacks) and travis Pitcher from Cypress JC (50th rd. in 2011, Oakland Athletics). The third previous draftee is freshman catcher CJ Saylor (33rd rd. in 2012, Los Angeles Dodgers)

AZTECS PICKED SECOND
San Diego State has been picked to finish second in the regular-season Mountain West Conference baseball standings. In a vote of the six MWC head coaches, the Aztecs received one first-place vote and 26 points to finish behind favorite New Mexico (35 points). The2013 MWC Preseason Poll is as follows:

Rk.  Team (1st place votes)   Pts
 1.  New Mexico (5)............35
 2.  San Diego State (1).......26
 3.  Nevada....................23
 4.  Fresno State..............22
 5.  UNLV......................13
 6.  Air Force..................7