Baseball Hosts Tony Gwynn Legacy This Weekend
Feb. 22, 2018
Tony Gwynn Legacy Mission Statement
Provide an opportunity
BUSY WEEK AHEAD: After a season-opening sweep of UC Santa Barbara and an extra-inning midweek setback against San Diego, San Diego State readies to play five games in five days, beginning with three games in the Tony Gwynn Legacy this weekend. It is the first time in the regular season since 2008 (Feb. 22 - Feb. 26) that the Aztecs will play on five consecutive days.
VS. THE WILDCATS: The Aztecs play its first game against the Wildcats since dropping a 7-3 decision against Arizona at the 2016 Tony Gwynn Classic. The Aztecs are looking to snap an eight-game losing skid vs. the Wildcats and earn its first win vs. Arizona since 1999.
VS. THE RAZORBACKS: The Aztecs make it three consecutive years with a game against an SEC program and play its first game vs. the Razorbacks since 2013. SDSU is looking to snap a five-game skid against Arkansas on Saturday and earn its first win vs. Arkansas since 2011.
VS. THE LOPES: SDSU meets with Grand Canyon for the first time since 1998 on Sunday. The Aztecs own an 11-7 all-time record against GCU and have won four of the last five meetings against the Lopes.
VS. THE WOLVERINES: San Diego State posted a 4-1 win over Michigan in the program’s only meeting,
VS. THE ANTEATERS: SDSU plays UC Irvine for the ninth consecutive season next Tuesday, and the Aztecs look for its fifth win in the teams’ last six meetings. SDSU is 4-1 in its last five road schedule openers.
ON THE AIR: Both Friday and Saturday’s game will be produced through Cox Sports Television, and in San Diego, the game can be watched on local television on YurView California (formerly Channel 4 San Diego). Sunday’s game will be live on KCR, SDSU’s student-run radio station, and Monday will be live on XTRA 1360 with Jon Schaeffer and Judson Richards on the call.
NOTES FROM A GOOD FIRST WEEKEND: The Aztecs were one of 48 teams across the nation to sweep its opening weekend, and is one of just two teams in the MW to do so, only joined by Fresno State. The Aztecs posted the best ERA in the conference and the 20th best opening-weekend ERA in the country at 1.67, while posting the second-best batting average in the conference (26th best in the nation) at .324. For the weekend, the Aztecs outhit UCSB .324 -
CALABUIG’s HOT START: Chase Calabuig has had one of the best starts to the 2018 season in the country so far this season, and currently ranks in the top three in the Mountain West in batting average (.500, first), slugging percentage (.944, second), on-base percentage (.500, second), runs scored (seven, first), hits (nine, first), home runs (two, second) and total bases (17, second). Calabuig currently rides an 11-game hitting streak, 17-game on-base streak and has reached base in each of his last 23 home games. To end the series against UC Santa Barbara, Calabuig homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
WELCOME TO THE TEAM: Eight newcomers to the program have wasted no time in making their mark on the 2018 season. The five pitchers who have made their SDSU debuts in 2018 (Garrett Hill, Jacob Flores, Justin Goossen-Brown, Casey O’Sullivan and Daniel Ritcheson) have combined for 16 IP, 1 ER, 10 H, 6 BB, 16 K, a 0.56 ERA, and .172 opponent batting average. Offensively, newcomers Casey Schmitt, Matt Rudick and Grant Mayeaux have combined to go 9-for-28 (.321 average) with six RBI.
BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL: San Diego State as a team ranks at the top in the conference in many batting and pitching statistics, highlighted by a Mountain West-best 1.70 team ERA, which is also 19th-best in the nation. SDSU also ranks No. 1 in the MW in hits allowed per nine innings (6.32) and WHIP (1.03), while the offense leads the MW in on-base percentage at .381.
EYEING 1,000: Head coach Mark Martinez is in his fourth season at the helm for
FOUR OF FIVE: SDSU enters 2018 as the only team in DI baseball to have won four conference tournament championships in the last five years. The Aztecs look to make it five of six in 2018, and as an added bonus, SDSU will host the 2018 Mountain West Tournament from May 24 - 27.
NON-CONFERENCE STRENGTH: SDSU’s non-conference schedule features 25 games against 14 different opponents, with 11 of those opponents
BIBLE BACK IN ACTION: After being diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2017, redshirt junior outfielder Chad Bible heard the good news in August 2017 that he was cancer free. Bible, who led all California junior college players in 2016 with 15 home runs, is expected to be
In his first at-bat since defeating his battle with cancer, Bible ripped a single on the first pitch he saw and later came around to score SDSU’s first run of the 2018 season. He followed that up with a 3-RBI triple on Saturday night, setting a new career-high for the Valencia, Calif. native while putting the game out of reach and bringing Saturday’s game to its final 8-4.
YOUNG GUNS: With 15 players lost from last season’s team, the Aztecs welcome 18 additions to the 2018 roster, including 15 freshmen -- tied for SDSU’s largest incoming freshman class since 2011. The incoming freshman class is ranked the No. 14 recruiting class in the nation according to Perfect Game and includes seven players who rank in the top 10 at their respective positions among class of 2017 California high school players.
STARTING OFF AT HOME: The Aztecs start
AMONG THE NATIONAL LEADERS LAST SEASON: San Diego State ranked near the top of the nation in many hitting, pitching, and fielding statistics last season, including finishing sixth in total hits (700), second in double plays turned (67), 13th in team batting average (.314), 21st in walks allowed per nine innings (2.98), and 22nd in fielding percentage (.979). The Aztecs were one of just two teams in the nation to be in the top 25 in both team batting average and team fielding percentage, joined by only UNC-Greensboro.
SURE-HANDED: The Aztecs posted the best team fielding percentage in program history last season, setting a new mark at .979. First baseman Jordan Verdon was one of the best defensive players in the nation last year, recording just one error in 585 chances last year for a .998 fielding percentage.