Baseball Preview: Aztecs baseball hosts Texas Tech

aztecs baseball high five

After a rain-shortened weekend in Fort Collins, the San Diego State Aztecs Baseball team is returning home to take on a couple of tough opponents.

Despite losing 9-5 last weekend to the Air Force Falcons on March 1st, San Diego State’s Aztecs Baseball senior shortstop Angelo Armenta went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. On the pitching side, Logan Boyer got the start and had a rough outing. In three innings, he gave up five runs (all earned), two walks and had four strikeouts.

As of Tuesday morning, the Aztecs baseball team are at the bottom of the Mountain West Conference with an overall record of 0-1. It’s still early in the season but SDSU will have to fix their rough start.

First up this week is the nationally-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders who played in last year’s College World Series.

This 14th ranked team will come to San Diego Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Aztecs last beat Texas Tech in 2015, with a 9-0 shutout victory. Besides that, the Aztecs are 1-13.

Freshman Aaron Eden will start Tuesday night against Texas Tech’s the Red Raiders. Eden has an 1-0 record. His last start came on Feb. 26 when he went 6.1 innings, only giving up two hits, two walks and 12 groundouts to the cross town rival, the University of San Diego.

Wednesday’s game is SDSU faculty and staff appreciation day as well as free SDSU sunglasses to the first 250 fans in attendance.

Over the weekend, the Aztecs will face their second Mountain West opponent of the season against the University of Nevada.

The games on Friday and Saturday are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively. For Saturday’s game, the first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free SDSU Baseball t-shirt. Nevada is a big opponent for the Aztecs because the Wolfpack won the regular season title last year.

The defending Mountain West Tournament Aztecs (0-1 MW) are hoping to get their sixth MW title in seven years led by head coach Mark Martinez.

Written by: Breven Honda

SDSU Lacrosse Doubleheader Results Against UCLA and Georgia Tech

Aztec men’s lacrosse

The Aztec men’s lacrosse team (3-2) split two games on the road this weekend, beating UCLA on Friday 13-12 and losing to Georgia Tech 18-5 on Saturday.

vs. UCLA

The Aztec men’s lacrosse team played their first conference game of the season against UCLA. The Bruins went into half time leading 7-4 after a late run in the second quarter. Junior goalie Steven O’Sullivan credited the second half defensive success to the halftime adjustments.

“We knew we could play much better, they caught us slipping a few times leading to goals,” O’Sullivan said. “We just needed to refocus and come out with more energy and better communication which we did.”

In the second half the Aztecs came out with a fire lit underneath them. The offensive attack, led by junior attackmen Patrick Greene, tallied 4 goals and 3 assists in the second half. The defense shined in the second half for the Aztecs which seems to be the pattern early this season, allowing just 5 goals in the second half.

The game picked up intensity in the fourth quarter with big hits and aggressive play by both sides and the game came down to the final seconds. The defense was able to lock down UCLA and run out the clock on a 13-12 victory. When asked how the first conference win felt captain Patrick Greene said it’s a great start.

“It always feels good to win within the conference as these games are the ones we need to win,” Greene said. “Hopefully we can keep this energy up for the rest of the season and keep winning these big games.”

vs. Georgia Tech

Saturday was a tough day for the Aztecs as they headed to Mater Dei High School to take on the #8 team in the MCLA, Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech came into the game after beating the 4th ranked team Chapman 13-12 on Friday.

Tired legs seemed to plague the Aztecs, as they started off the game sloppy with unforced turnovers leading to easy goals for Georgia Tech. After one quarter Georgia Tech held a 7-0 lead and it did not get any better as Georgia Tech took a 15-1 lead into the half.

The Aztecs were able to salvage some pride in the second half as they held Georgia Tech to only 3 goals while adding in 4 of their own. Freshman goalie Graham Knapp had a very strong game as he replaced Steen O’Sullivan in the 2nd quarter. Knapp was able to make 12 saves in his first collegiate appearance. When asked about the tough loss junior Gage Webb says the team will move on from the defeat. “It was a tough loss, we know we are much better than what we showed. We are just going to regroup and fix what we did wrong and we will be good to go.”

The Aztecs resume game action on Saturday as they take on the Arizona Wildcats (2-2) at home with the game scheduled to start at 12pm.

Written by: Anthony Romano
Photo by: Anthony Romano

SDSU Prepares For Annual Tony Gwynn Classic

The annual Tony Gwynn Legacy, hosted by both the Aztecs and the University of San Diego, will take place this weekend, from February 22-24th.

The annual tournament honors San Diego legend Tony Gwynn (Photo: Ernie Anderson/GoAztecs)

A week after receiving their rings to honor last year’s Mountain West Tournament Championship, their fifth title in six years, the San Diego State Baseball team will get to honor their head coach that began that run, Tony Gwynn, who passed away in 2014.

13 games will be played in remembrance of Gwynn beginning Thursday at Fowler ParkThe Aztecs and Toreros will host Utah, Kansas State, Fresno State, Oklahoma, No. 25 Cal State Fullerton and Missouri State throughout the weekend. Utah, Oklahoma, Fullerton, and Missouri State, along with the Aztecs, participated in the NCAA Tournament last year.  The Scarlet and Black will play against Utah on Friday at 6pm, followed by Oklahoma Saturday night at 6 p.m and Kansas State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Gwynn came to SDSU in 1977 on a basketball scholarship and would become the Aztecs’ career assists leader, 590, a record that still stands today. Gwynn would first play baseball as an Aztec in 1979. On the diamond, he became an All-American outfielder, playing with future Major Leaguers like Bobby Meacham, Ed Amelung, Chris Jones and Al Newman. Gwynn would even play with future MLB umpire Kerwin Danley.

Gwynn was drafted on the same day by the Padres and Clippers, both San Diego franchises in 1981. He would choose baseball, and for 20 years he would wear a Padres uniform collecting 3,141 hits, a .338 lifetime batting average, 15 all-star appearances, seven Silver Slugger Awards, and five Gold Gloves en route to a 97.6 percent of the vote to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

After retiring as a player, he would come back to the Mesa and takeover for his college baseball coach, Jim Dietz and coach until his passing in June 2014.

Written by: Breven Honda

SDSU wins on rainy opening night, splits double header against USF Dons

 

Junior center fielder Julian Escobedo makes contact in a 8-4 win over San Francisco (Photo by Derrick Tuskan)

Feb. 15th, Aztecs win 8-4

San Diego State Baseball started its 2019 season on a chilly Friday night at Tony Gwynn stadium in front of a crowd of 1,014. The Aztecs faced off against the University of San Francisco Dons for their inaugural game of the season which featured a Mountain West championship ring ceremony.

Defensive baseball was played through the first couple of innings, with only 1 hit registered in the top of the 1st by USF shortstop, Jack Winkler. However, that all changed when the Aztecs collected 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning thanks to centerfielder, Julian Escobedo’s hit to right field that skipped right by the second baseman. Moments later, Catcher Joe Fitzhugh hit a shot into left field that led to Escobedo and Jarvis scoring to make it 4-0 in favor of the Aztecs.

SDSU’s starting pitcher, Junior Logan Boyer, had an impressive night by striking out 10 batters of the 22 he faced. USF batters Jack Winkler & Jonathan Allen had back-to-back home runs off of Boyer in the top 5th inning. SDSU head coach Mark Martinez elected to keep Boyer in the game. Boyer persevered and struck out the last batter to retire the side and headed back to the dugout for the night.

Scoring went back and forth through the 8 innings, with the Dons collecting 1 run and the Aztecs getting 4 more to make it 8-3. Julian Escobedo’s home run and double gave SDSU 3 crucial runs and some breathing room to operate. Relief pitchers Justin Goossens-Brown and Daniel Ritcheson finished things off for the Aztecs on the mound. Only 1 run was allowed in the top of the 9th as USF made a late night comeback. However, the Aztecs were able to  secure the win as Jacob Westerman lined out to 1st base to end the game, 8-4, minutes before rain started to fall. SDSU has now won its season opener 3 years in a row, matching a record set from 2007-2009. Junior, Logan Boyer was credited with the win and improved to 1-0.

Feb. 16th Game 1, Aztecs lose 8-9 on controversial catch

The Aztecs lost their first game of the season on Saturday during a game that was initially scheduled for 6 pm, but was moved to 2 pm due to rain in the forecast.

Unlike the previous night where scoring was low at the beginning of the game, hits were a surplus for both the Dons and the Aztecs early. USF scored 3 runs off of Aztec pitcher Brad Wegman with 2 hits while leaving 2 men on base. The Aztecs answered right back in the bottom of the 1st when Julian Escobedo & Casey Schmitt both singled to the left side to score one run each. Freshman first baseman Brian Leonhardt doubled to right field that added 2 more runs to make the score 4-3 after one inning. 4 more runs were added to the score by the Aztecs at the end of the 3rd inning to make it 8-3. True freshman from Simi Valley, California, Jaden Fein batted in one of those runs in the bottom of the 3rd after recording his first career NCAA single in the 2nd inning.

The Dons responded with 2 runs from Nick Yovetich and Brandon Greim. Brad Wegman retired the side and his game was over after throwing 82 pitches in 4 total innings, leaving the score 8-5. SDSU brought in their closer, Casey Schmitt, who serves as both a pitcher and batter/fielder, had 9 saves and 24 strikeouts in the 2018 season for the Aztecs. However, the Dons put on their rally caps and were ready to face down Schmitt, putting up 4 runs during a hit parade that took place in the top of the 9th inning to make the score 9-8.

As only one out stood on the scoreboard, Joe Fitzhugh belted a pitch from Dons pitcher Joey Steele to center field, but was miraculously caught while diving by the Dons player, who then threw to second base to tag Alamillo out who was caught off guard to record a double play that ended the game. USF prevailed and won the game by a score of 9-8 despite being out hit 14-9.

Feb. 16th Game 2, Aztecs win 6-3

The Aztecs won their second game of opening weekend against University of San Francisco on Saturday night. Julian Escobedo continued with his strong weekend by scoring a run and batting two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. Aztec second baseman, Jacob Maekawa also ended on a strong note by scoring a run and receiving two hits.

Things were tied up at 3-3 for USF and SDSU at the end of the 6th inning, until the Aztecs scored 3 runs in 7th and never looked back. SDSU starting pitcher Harrison Pyatt played 4 innings and only conceded 4 hits to the Dons. Relief pitcher Christian Winston was credited with the win after coming in during the 7th inning. Pitching was superb this weekend, as SDSU threw 47 strikeouts in 27 innings played.

The Aztecs improved to 2-1 on the season and will look forward to playing U.C. Irvine on Tuesday, February 19th at 6 p.m. pacific time.

Written by: Jacob McCulloh