Breven’s Sports Blog: SDSU Baseball, Basketball & Track

Bonnie Draxler cheering

SDSU Aztecs prove to be at the top of their game by winning major accolades and securing MLB draft picks. Soon enough, the basketball teams will face off opponents in the MWC.

Track & Field ends the year at Outdoor Champs with medals and honors.

What a year it has been for senior pole vaulter Bonnie Draxler. Back in March, the senior finished with a silver medal in the NCAA Indoor Championships. This time in the Outdoor Championships, she would do the same.

Last Thursday, Draxler would continue her run of making the podium for the field event by placing second. She cleared a height of 14-09.50 (4.51m) and finished as the NCAA runner-up.

In addition to Bonnie Draxler, the SDSU 4×400 meter team raced for a chance at gold. The team would come up short with a time of 3:33.64, which was good for 11th best.

The 4x400m relay team consisted of sophomore Sakura Robinson, senior Lise-Anne Barrow, sophomore Jalyn Harris, and freshman Nyjari McNeil.

As a result of this young team, the future is bright for SDSU Track and Field, especially in the 4x400m.

Over the weekend, history was made when all five athletes earned All-American honors, according to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Sunday.

Draxler was named to the first team and the 4x400m relay team was selected to the second team.

This was not Draxler’s first go-around as an All-American.

In four years as an Aztec, she became a four-time All-American, which includes becoming a two-time first-team All-American (2019 Indoor and Outdoor Championships), a second-team All American at the 2018 Indoor Championships, and was an honorable mention in the 2017 outdoor season.

4 Aztecs drafted into MLB

The month of June marks a new beginning for baseball players to start their professional career.

Every Major League Baseball Draft is composed of 40 rounds and this year, 1,217 players were selected; however, not all will decide to play pro ball. One reason is due to the college the person has already committed to.

In the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, four players from San Diego State were selected.

RHP Logan Boyer – 11th round, Los Angeles Dodgers

OF Julian Escobedo – 17th round, Cleveland Indians

RHP Adrian Mardueno – 20th round, St. Louis Cardinals

SS Angelo Armenta – 38th round, Tampa Bay Rays

With these four players getting drafted, the SDSU Baseball Program now has 219 MLB draft picks and 21 since 2014.

From the Mountain West, only Fresno had a higher number of draft picks from their program, recording eight.

MWC unveils conference opponents and schedule

On June 6, the Mountain West Conference released the 2019-20 conference schedule for both men’s and women’s hoops, but unlike years past, there are some things that will change and some things that will stay the same.

In the past, Conference games started a week before New Year’s Day. This year, it starts almost a month before the new year. What will stay the same are the number of opponents a team will face.

The Mountain West will stick to its normal 18-game conference schedule, but conference play begins as early as December 4.

The Aztecs’ conference opener is set for Dec. 4 against Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. and their first home game is Sunday, Dec. 8 against San Jose State.

The two early conference games is because the 2020 MWC Tournament is a week before and there is a convention the usual week the tournament would be held, according to a tweet from the Mountain West Wire (@MWCwire).   

After the conference games, the Mountain West takes a break for teams to play non-conference opponents and face finals. Conference play resumes New Year’s Day with the Aztecs staying home to face Fresno State.

Conference play will last until Feb. 29 when the Aztecs head to a familiar spot to end the season: Reno, Nev. to face the Wolfpack for a third consecutive year.

The MW Tournament will have the same format, but will begin March 4 and will go until the seventh.

There are pros and cons to moving the Conference schedule up two weeks.

Pro: by moving the conference schedule up two weeks the team(s) that makes the NCAA Tournament have two weeks to get ready rather than four days (or two days if in the first round play-in game).

Con: The Aztecs always ride the fans’ jubilant energy (particularly from the students; The Show), especially for conference games. As a result of the change and most students going home for winter break, the Aztecs will have to get fired up some other way for three games at Viejas Arena until the 2020 spring semester classes begins on Jan. 22. However, what makes it a con are the three teams the Aztecs are facing: Jan. 1 vs. Fresno St., Jan. 11 vs. Boise St., and Jan. 18 vs. Nevada.

Here’s the schedule for Men’s and Women’s Basketball for SDSU:

DateMen’s ScheduleWomen’s Schedule
Dec. 4@ Colorado StateVs. Colorado State
Dec. 7Vs. San Jose State (Dec. 8)@ San Jose State
Jan. 1Vs. Fresno State@ Fresno State
Jan. 4@ Utah StateVs. Utah State
Jan. 8@ WyomingVs. Wyoming
Jan. 11Vs. Boise State@ Boise State
Jan. 15@ Fresno StateVs. Fresno State
Jan. 18 Vs. Nevada@ Nevada
Jan. 22Wyoming@ Wyoming
Jan. 25@ UNLVVs. UNLV
Jan. 29@ New MexicoVs. New Mexico
Feb. 1Vs. Utah State@ Utah State
Feb. 8@ Air ForceVs. Air Force
Feb. 12Vs. New Mexico @ New Mexico
Feb. 15@ Boise St.Vs. Boise State
Feb. 22 Vs. UNLV@ UNLV
Feb. 26Vs. Colorado State@ Colorado State
Feb. 29@ NevadaVs. Nevada
Written by: Breven Honda
Featured Image by: goaztecs.com

Breven’s Sports Blog: Padres Working Towards Recovery

Padres shortstop Tatis Jr. crouching down

The San Diego Padres look to improve their offensive game despite a minor setback early on in the season.

The hometown team, who entered the week at 30-29 and are only two games back of the second wild-card spot, are looking to heat up in the final stretch before the All-Star Break.

Today, we are going to dive into a couple of Padres topics.

Injuries

For the past five weeks, the Padres have been playing without their shortstop phenom and No. 2 prospect across MLB, Fernando Tatis Jr. Fortunately, their backup shortstop – Manny Machado – has played great since his departure.

Before the team’s top prospect went down, the combination between Machado and Tatis Jr. filling the left side of the infield saw a glimpse into what the next 10-plus years could look like for baseball in San Diego.

That glimpse would turn to a pause after the Padres lost to the Nationals, 7-6 in 10 innings on April 28. Tatis Jr. went down after overstretching for a ball at second base and pulled a hamstring

With hamstring injuries, the timing is uncertain as to when a player will return, but it all depends on the muscle itself. Some take a couple of days; some take a month or two.

However, some good news came this past weekend for Tatis Jr. and the Padres.

Tatis Jr. began his rehab assignment this past Monday in Double-A Amarillo (Texas) in hopes to return to the team by the end of the homestand or early next week.

In that game he would go 1-for-3 with two walks. That hit would be an infield single that he legged out. Despite having a throwing error, he would steal a base for the Amarillo Sod Poodles in their 8-5 loss against the Frisco RoughRiders.

As a result of baseball’s No. 2 prospect going down, Machado moved over to shortstop and the backups at third base have not been as consistent.

The Padres have used a duo between San Diego State Alum Ty France and San Diego-product via Valhalla High School Greg Garcia to fill the gap to cover the hot corner. Although France and Garcia have seen playing time at the hot corner, the consistency has not been there.

Tatis Jr. posted a batting average of .300, hit six home runs and also had six stolen bases, with most of those coming in the leadoff spot before he got injured.

Not only does this affect the hot corner, but it also has an effect on the leadoff spot. Since Tatis Jr. went down, the combination of Wil Myers, Garcia, and Ian Kinsler plays a key hitting role in the top spot. Garcia secure the most time in the leadoff spot, but the same theme of inconsistency transpires.

Besides Tatis Jr. working back from his injury, others are also starting their rehabilitation assignments. Both outfielders Jose Pirela and Franchy Cordero started their rehab assignments last week in Triple-A El Paso and are close to making a comeback.

Also, catcher Francisco Mejia and outfielder Alex Dickerson completed their rehab assignments last week and have been activated, playing in El Paso.

The most notable player completing his rehabilitation assignments is pitcher Dinelson Lamet who is coming off Tommy John surgery a couple days before Opening Day last season. Lamet is on schedule of the rehab process, which is usually around 12-16 months and, if all goes well, is on pace to rejoin the Padres at the end of the month.

Offense

Despite the injury to Tatis Jr., the Padres have been able to hit the ball well. Although the Padres are 14-15 since he went down, the bats have been staying alive.

First baseman Eric Hosmer has stepped up over the past month. After hitting under .200 in the season’s first few weeks, he has brought his batting average up to .300 last week that includes posting a 10-game hitting streak, which ended Sunday.

In the month of May, Hosmer went 36-for-105 with a .343 batting average, scored 17 times, and had 15 RBIs.

The Padres are ninth in all of baseball (and fourth in the National League) with 89 home runs (as of June 4). Outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes, who have each recorded 17 home runs so far, have kept the offense alive.

Everyday, there has been at least one player to keep the offense going.

As the calendar gets into the heart of June, the next couple of weeks will determine whether or not the Padres will be playoff contenders as well as buyers or sellers (or stand pat) as the Trade Deadline looms in July. The Padres could even look at getting a starting pitcher such as free agent Dallas Keuchel or Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to bolster a young rotation.

Written by: Breven Honda
Featured Image from: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Movements at the OC Observatory

Movements performed a sold-out show at the Observatory Orange County on Friday, April 19.

With alternative rock groups alongside Movements including Drug Church, Trash Boat, and Boston Manor, Movements managed to put on a memorable act that shows their growth as musicians as well as their appreciation for their loyal hometown fans.

Orange County’s Observatory, in comparison to the North Park location, was a bit too claustrophobic for my liking. For one, the venue was entirely general admission but consisted of terraces that spaced out the crowd into awkward sections. Second, the pit was simply too tiny for the number of people wanting to mosh, crowd surf, and just have that full concert experience. The crowd was stuffed like sardines but this did not put a damper on their energy for the openers. Unfortunately, I missed Drug Church and Trash Boat’s sets, but Boston Manor’s performance easily made up for it and got me excited for the rest of the concert.

An Emo and pop-punk band from across the pond, Boston Manor is hands down one of my favorite groups to watch live. Henry Cox is an excellent frontman with the vocal abilities to match which showed in their opener “Flowers in Your Dustbin” from their latest release Welcome to the Neighbourhood. Backed by talented musicians, Cox kept the crowd moving with their hits like “Halo” and “Lead Feet,” angst-driven anthems that warmed up fans for the main event.

Movements exploded in popularity upon releasing their debut album Feel Something in 2017.

Since then, they’ve toured with big-name players in the scene such as Knuckle Puck, Citizen, Turnover, and The Story So Far. The band opened with “The Grey” which describes the feeling of slipping into a cold and lonely depression. Frontman Patrick Miranda, who is open about his struggles with anxiety and depression, is unafraid to speak on mental health issues in his lyrics. Next up was a fan favorite “Colorblind” which had the audience pushing, shoving, and loudly singing along. Miranda is known for his colorblindness, consistently making note of it in other songs like “Deep Red” which is a personal favorite of mine. This song starts off with a catchy bassline, worked by Austin Cressey, that punches through the guitars and vocals. The chorus is ear-wormy in and of itself with a break down that allowed the band to let loose on stage.

Movements is a SoCal band that grew up in Rancho Santa Margarita who, despite their rise to fame in the scene, have not forgotten their roots. This show specifically was a sign of gratitude to the fans that have stayed with them all these years. Patrick reminisced to the time they opened for the band Basement in the same venue. In 2015, they performed in front of 300 people. Today, they sold-out a well-known music venue, playing in front of an audience who truly cares about their art.

The end of the show was bittersweet. Movements came out to a crowd chanting their name and finished with the classic “Daylily.” As the song reached its crescendo, Patrick raised the mic to the audience as they sang “‘I think it’s time you had a pink cloud summer'” back to the band. The group felt at home and living the dream.

Written by: Rica Perez

Turnstile at The Observatory North Park

Turnstile photo taken from Paranaense87. 

Turnstile performed at The Observatory North Park in San Diego alongside Razorbumps, Reptaliens, and Turnover on Wednesday, April 10.

Razorbumps has an indescribable sound that meshes spirited 80’s punk rock with lo-fi vocal effects. Vocalist Jenn held a magnetic stage presence that drew in fans and casual listeners who wanted to experience an eclectic rock performance.

Reptaliens, on the other, had to be the most confusing yet entertaining band of the night. Living up to their Portland origins, Reptaliens kept things weird when one band member came out on stage in an eyeball costume. Despite their outlandish choice of attire, this group’s sound is much more mellow with synth-driven melodies and bright vocals which were sung by Bambi Browning. Overall, the performance was underwhelming, saturated with repetitive basslines and unmemorable instrumentals.

Turnstile, a hardcore band from Baltimore, Maryland, brought the heat and opened with their newly released track “Real Thing.” The aggressive guitars set the tone for a hard-hitting track that claims happiness is a mere imagination. Turnstile played nonstop; no breaks, no talking, just pure rock. And the crowd ate it. During songs like “Fazed Out” and “Blue by You,” audience members moshed, kicked, and slammed into each other in the pit. Against the venue’s advice, the throngs of crowd surfers also livened up the show.

The group recently dropped their newest record Time & Space under their first major record label, Roadrunner Records. This album incorporates the unorthodox, DIY hardcore principles of their previous works on Nonstop Feeling and Step to the Rhythm, which takes influence from Rage Against the Machine and the likes, and a more developed sound. Time & Space does not stray far from their roots as they surprisingly meld the familiar punchy guitars with high energy funk and soul.

For someone who has only skimmed the surface of the hardcore scene, Turnstile is a refreshing band to witness live. The straight-to-the-point nature of the show allowed fans to focus on the music without the frills of decorative stage decor, political rants, and gimmicks. It’s purely punk. Hardcore is not for everyone but I still highly recommend checking out Turnstile’s music or catching a show because I know everyone has a little angst they want to let out.

Written by: Rica Perez