Baseball Travels to UC Riverside Tuesday

April 23, 2018

Baseball Notes at UCR Get Acrobat Reader

VS. THE HIGHLANDERS: San Diego State travels to UC Riverside for a Tuesday night non-conference matchup starting at 6:00 p.m. SDSU enters Tuesday having won 10 of the last 16 meetings against UCR.

Last season, SDSU and UCR squared off twice, with the road team winning both contests. In Riverside last season, SDSU defeated UCR, 10-1. SDSU has won five of its last six games on the road against UCR.

UCR will be the last non-conference regular season opponent for SDSU in 2018. Following this week, the Highlanders make the return trip to Tony Gwynn Stadium next week, for a 6:00 p.m. showdown on Tuesday, May 1. 

SDSU is 16-7 in non-conference play this season and 24-8 against Big West opponents since the start of the 2017 season. 

ON THE AIR: UC Riverside will produce both a live stream and live stats for Tuesday night’s game. Links to live coverage will be available at GoAztecs.com.

RECAP VS. FRESNO STATE: SDSU took two-of-three against Fresno State this weekend, giving the Aztecs its 100th all-time win over the Bulldogs. Fresno State joined New Mexico, Air Force and Utah as the four programs SDSU has beaten 100 or more times. 

The Aztecs used 14 strikeouts and a 3-for-4 performance by Dean Nevarez to win the series opener, 3-2. Harrison Pyatt struck out a career-high eight while posting five shutout innings to lower his ERA over his last three starts to 1.06.

Facing a 7-2 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth on Saturday, SDSU was able to make things interesting by scoring a pair of runs and bringing the potential winning run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, but fell short and suffered a 7-4 defeat. Garrett Hill suffered just his second loss of the season, despite turning in a quality start for SDSU.

The Aztecs posted its first shutout of the season in the series finale, using six shutout innings and seven strikeouts from starting pitcher Jorge Fernandez. Jordan Verdon and Chad Bible continued their power showcase on Sunday, hitting their sixth and seventh home runs of the season, respectively.

FAST STARTS: SDSU’s 37 first-inning runs this season are the most of any inning this season. During the first inning, the Aztecs are hitting .325 as a team. SDSU’s totals of five home runs, 33 RBIs, and 54 total hits are all the best of any inning in a season this year. SDSU is 13-5 on the season when scoring in the first inning.

CLAMPING DOWN: SDSU enters this weekend having won 73 consecutive games when leading after eight innings, good for one of the five longest active streaks in the country.

OVER THE HOMESTAND: SDSU went 5-3 in its season-long eight-game homestand, taking series wins over Cal State Fullerton and Fresno State in the process. 

For the homestand, David Hensley hit a team-best .484 (15-for-31). Casey Schmitt logged four scoreless appearances en route to earning four saves on the homestand, while Harrison Pyatt (1 ER, 9 IP) and Jorge Fernandez (2 ER, 12 IP) impressed over their respective pair of starts over the homestand.

HOME COOKING: Chase Calabuig extended his on-base streak in home games to 43 over the weekend, good for the longest home on-base streak in Tony Gwynn Stadium history. At home, Calabuig is hitting a team-best .347 with three home runs, 21 RBIs, and 13 doubles over 21 home games.

AMONG THE NATIONAL/CONFERENCE LEADERS: In addition to being the Mountain West leader in earned run average (3.76) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.60), SDSU ranks among the top of the nation in numerous statistical categories.

- SDSU’s 40 double plays turned are ninth most in the nation.
- SDSU’s 388 total hits are 16th most in the nation.
- SDSU’s .297 team batting average is 28th best in the nation.
- Jordan Verdon and Chase Calabuig are fifth and 15th in the nation in doubles, respectively, with 18 and 16 doubles.

- Chase Calabuig leads the Mountain West with three triples.
- Adrian Mardueno and Garrett Hill are tied for the Mountain West lead with six wins each.
- Jacob Erickson is second in the MW in walks allowed per nine innings (1.51) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.38).

GOOD IN ALL ASPECTS: SDSU is one of nine teams in the country to have a team batting average of .295 or higher while having a team ERA of 3.80 or lower. SDSU is joined by (all rankings provided by D1 Baseball) No. 1 Florida, No. 3 NC State, No. 5 Oregon State, No. 6 Ole Miss, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 11 Southern Miss, No. 21 Minnesota, and St. John’s. 

SCHMITT NAMED MW PITCHER OF THE WEEK (4/16): Casey Schmitt became the first SDSU freshman since 2013 and the first MW freshman since 2015 to earn MW Pitcher of the Week honors after recording a pair of saves against Cal State Fullerton.

In addition to his duties as SDSU’s starting third baseman, Schmitt has become a mainstay in the Aztec bullpen, owning a 0.48 ERA over 13 appearances and 18.2 innings pitched this year. It is the lowest ERA (minimum 10 IP) by an Aztec through the first 40 game of a season since SDSU joined the Mountain West in 2000.

The Eastlake HS product has not allowed a run to score in each of his last six appearances and rides a 9.2-inning streak of not allowing an earned run. His last earned run allowed came nearly a month ago on March 17 against Cal Poly.

HOMEGROWN: The San Diego State roster features 10 players from San Diego. Collectively, San Diego natives have posted 66.3 percent of SDSU’s 2018 hit total (274 of 413)

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 fourth among all DI players with 219 career games played, and Jacob Erickson, who leads all DI pitchers with 113 career pitching appearances. The Aztecs are the only team in the nation to have a player in the top five of both categories. Erickson recently set SDSU’s program record in pitching appearances and is the Mountain West all-time leader, while Calabuig is 17 games shy from setting the program’s career games played record (SDSU has 15 regular season games remaining).

Games Played
1 JJ Schwarz , Florida 247
2 Ryan Chandler , Rice 226
3 Gage Morey , FGCU 223
T4 Chase Calabuig , San Diego St. 219
T4 Gabe Snyder , Wright St. 219

Pitching Appearances
1 Jacob Erickson , San Diego St. 113
2 Cooper Hammond , Miami (FL) 103
3 Seth Pinkerton, Hartford 101
T4 Charlie Fletcher, William & Mary 98
T4 Dylan Moore, Louisiana 98

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.

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