Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 31, 2018 (San Diego) - Behind a stellar performance from San Diego State right-handed pitcher Garrett Hill, the No. 23/23 San Diego State baseball team defeated New Mexico, 3-2, at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Aztecs now stand at 18-9 on the 2018 campaign with a 7-4 conference mark, while New Mexico slips to 12-13-1 with a 6-6 MW record.
Hill turned in the longest outing by an SDSU pitcher this season, tossing 8.1 innings with only one run allowed on three hits and four walks, while striking out seven. Hill’s only run allowed was due to a two-run home run allowed by Jorge Fernandez in the ninth inning. Prior to that, Hill did not allow a New Mexico runner to reach second base.
Hill remains tied for the nation’s lead in wins with six and leads the Mountain West with a 1.28 earned run average.
Hill was quick to receive run support, as Joe Fitzhugh’s first collegiate RBI coming on a line-drive single to centerfield scored Julian Escobedo for a 1-0 SDSU lead in the bottom of the second. The Aztecs extended that lead further in the fifth, with Jacob Maekawa’s leadoff double setting the table for a Chase Calabuig RBI double and a Jordan Verdon sacrifice fly to extend SDSU’s lead to 3-0.
Two pitches after Hill was taken out after allowing a one-out walk in the ninth, New Mexico scored its first runs of the game with a two-run home run by New Mexico outfielder Jared Mang off SDSU reliever Jorge Fernandez. Fernandez managed to secure his sixth save of the season, however, forcing UNM’s Connor Mang to fly out to left and pinch-hitter Jeff Diemling to strikeout swinging to end the ball game.
- SDSU is a perfect 6-0 in weekend series finales this season.
- The Aztecs are 9-4 in their last 13 games. Three of those four losses have been by just a one-run margin.
- SDSU is 14-1 in its last 15 games following a loss.
- SDSU won its 65th consecutive game when leading after eight innings.
- Julian Escobedo extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 2-for-4 performance in Saturday’s series finale. Over that span, Escobedo is hitting .524 (22-for-42) with a home run, two doubles, and 11 RBIs. Escobedo has recorded five multi-hit performances in his last six games played.
- Escobedo now leads the team with a .378 batting average in MW play.
- Jacob Maekawa logged a career-high three hits, going 3-for-3 with a run scored.
- Chase Calabuig recorded his team-high 12th multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-4 with an RBI on Saturday. Calabuig currently rides an 11-game hitting streak (tied for team best this season with Escobedo’s current streak).
- Garrett Hill’s 8.1 innings pitched is the longest outing by an Aztec pitcher this season and the longest since Dominic Purpura pitched a nine-inning complete game on April 1, 2017.
- Hill becomes the first Aztec since Addison Reed in 2010 to record a win in five consecutive starts.
- With a 5-0 record in the month of March, Hill becomes the first Aztec in recorded history to ever earn five victories in a single calendar month.