No. 25 Baseball Travels to Arizona For Midweek Contest

March 5, 2018

SDSU Baseball Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader



NEWS AND NOTES


VS. THE WILDCATS: Meeting for the second time this season after SDSU posted a 3-2, walk-off win in 10 innings over the Wildcats on Feb. 23, the Aztecs are seeking its second consecutive win after snapping an eight-game losing streak when playing Arizona that dated to 1999. SDSU also looks to earn its first win in the state of Arizona since 1998 and snap an eight-game losing skid when playing in the Grand Canyon State. 

ON THE AIR: Arizona will produce a live stream of Tuesday night’s contest and live stats will be available at GoAztecs.com. 

The Last Meeting
Arizona2  
San Diego State310
February 23, 2018
Tony Gwynn Stadium
Baseball Walks Off Against Arizona, 3-2
Box Score | Postgame Notes
Jacob Maekawa’s run on a wild pitch thrown by Arizona reliever Tylor Megill handed the San Diego State baseball team a 3-2, 10-inning win in SDSU’s opening game of the Tony Gwynn Legacy at Tony Gwynn Stadium Friday night.

NO. 25 IN THE NATION: The Aztecs came in at No. 25 in Baseball America’s national top 25 rankings, marking as the first time since April 23, 2009, that SDSU has been featured in Baseball America’s top 25. The Aztecs are the third-highest California team in the rankings, only trailing No. 4 Stanford (11-1) and No. 11 UCLA (9-2).

SUCCESS VS. PAC-12: The Aztecs have won four games in a row against Pac-12 opponents, good for the longest winning streak against the Pac-12 since 2007.

PITCHING SHINES: San Diego State pitching is off to one of its best starts in program history, owning a 2.52 ERA, .205 opponent batting average, and 116 total strikeouts -- all three are the best starts for the SDSU pitching staff through a season’s first 11 games since joining the Mountain West in 2000. The Aztecs are in the nation’s top 25 in several pitching stat categories, including earned run average  (2.74, 24th), hits allowed per nine innings (6.57, 14th), and strikeouts per nine innings (10.4, 20th). The only other teams to be in the top 25 in all three categories include Florida State, Stetson, Pittsburgh, UCF, and St. John’s. 

BROOM SHOPPING: San Diego State extended its winning streak against San Jose State to eight games on Sunday, sweeping a doubleheader against the Spartans by scores of 7-2 and 11-1. SDSU has outscored SJSU 60-21 and lead the all-time series, 73039, 

In game 1, David Hensley, Chad Bible, and Jordan Verdon all hit the first home runs of their seasons to drive in six of SDSU’s seven runs, while Harrison Pyatt earned his first win of the season with a season-high 5.1 innings pitched. 

In game 2, SDSU posted its highest run total of the season, largely in thanks to David Hensley’s career-high four hits. Both Chase Calabuig and Hensley recorded three RBI to pace the offense, and on the mound, Garrett Hill improved to 2-0 on the year with seven strikeouts, no walks, and five hits allowed in six shutout innings. 

EYEING 1,000: Head coach Mark Martinez is in his fourth season at the helm for SDSU, and owns a 112-85 career record with two Mountain West Tournament championships in his first three years as head coach. Prior to being named the late Tony Gwynn’s successor as head coach in the summer of 2014, Martinez spent nine years as Gwynn’s head assistant. Combining Martinez’s win total as an assistant at Mesa State (now Colorado Mesa), New Mexico, and SDSU, and wins as head coach at SDSU, Martinez has been a part of 999 collegiate baseball wins since starting his coaching career in 1984.

IMPACT FRESHMAN: Freshman outfielder Matt Rudick has been one of the focal points for the SDSU lineup in the early goings of the 2018 season, hitting a team-best .405 while also leading the team with a .465 on-base percentage. Rudick took over the leadoff spot in the lineup last weekend against Grand Canyon, and since that point, the Scripps Ranch HS product has gone 10-for-20 (.500) with four RBIs. 

RECAPPING THE LEGACY: SDSU recorded its best record when hosting a regular season tournament since 2012 last weekend, going 2-1 in the 2018 Tony Gwynn Legacy. The Aztecs recorded an extra-inning win against Arizona on Friday night, before falling victim to a three-run ninth inning in a 5-2 loss against No. 4 Arkansas Saturday night. The Aztecs concluded a stretch of five games in five days with a pair of one-run wins over Grand Canyon (5-4) and Michigan (4-3) before the team fell in its road schedule opener at UC Irvine, 9-4. 

EXPERIENCE ON THE DIAMOND: Despite having a team of 15 freshmen -- the program’s largest freshman class since 2011 -- the Aztecs have two of the most experienced players in the nation this year in Chase Calabuig, who is fifth among all DI players with 190 career games played, and Jacob Erickson, who leads all DI pitchers with 99 career pitching appearances. The Aztecs are the only team in the nation to have a player in the top five of both categories.

Games Played

1 JJ Schwarz , Florida         220

2 Ryan Chandler , Rice         196

3 Gage Morey , FGCU         195

4 Gabe Snyder , Wright St. 192

5 Chase Calabuig , San Diego St. 190

Pitching Appearances

1 Jacob Erickson , San Diego St. 99

2 Cooper Hammond , Miami (FL) 92

3 Dylan Moore , Louisiana 89

4 Seth Pinkerton , Hartford 87

5 Wyatt Burns , Samford 84

PLAYING CLOSE: San Diego State has either led or was tied after eight innings in each of its first eight games to start the season. The Aztecs are particularly strong in the later stages of the game, owning one of the longest active winning streaks in the country when leading after eight innings at 56 games. 

WELCOME TO THE TEAM: Nine SDSU pitchers have made their Aztec debuts so far in the 2018 season, and the newcomers have contributed nicely, owning a collective 2.14 ERA over 42 innings pitched this season. The same group of Noah Fluman, Christian Winston, Casey Schmitt, Justin Goossen-Brown, Daniel Ritcheson, Jacob Flores, Casey O’Sullivan, Garrett Hill, and Clark Eder have combined for a .197 opponent batting average, having only allowed 31 hits in 42 combined innings this year.

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 being either ranked or receiving votes in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s preseason top 40 poll. 16 of SDSU’s 25 non-conference games come against Big West opponents (last year’s No. 8 RPI conference).

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 a main contributor and middle-of-the-order-type threat in the SDSU lineup. Despite his diagnosis last year, Bible was able to play in seven games and recorded at least one hit in six of them. To cap his inspirational season, Bible recorded a double to right field in his final at-bat of the season after starting cancer treatment with Dr. Stephen Forman, M.D. at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.

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 the second game vs. UCSB 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.

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