Aztecs post first shutout of 2018 season behind Jorge Fernandez's six-inning performance
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
April 22, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego State baseball team clinched a series win over Fresno State on Sunday while posting the first shutout of the 2018 season, defeating the Bulldogs, 7-0, at Tony Gwynn Stadium Sunday afternoon. SDSU improves to 26-14 and 10-7 in the Mountain West to own sole possession of second place in the league, while fifth-place standing Fresno State drops to 23-16 overall and 9-12 in MW play.
Making his second start of the week, SDSU right-handed pitcher Jorge Fernandez recorded a dominant performance against the Bulldogs, pitching six shutout innings with only four hits allowed while striking out seven and not surrendering a walk.
Fernandez started off his outing on the right foot, retiring each of the first nine batters he faced before allowing a leadoff double to start the fourth. Fernandez's only jam of the afternoon came in the sixth inning, where the senior worked around a pair of Fresno State hits to leave a pair of Bulldog runners stranded in scoring position after forcing Jeremiah Hill to hit a weak ground ball back to the mound for a 1-3 groundout to end the threat and preserve SDSU's 2-0 lead.
The Aztecs built that 2-0 lead with Jordan Verdon's sixth home run of the year -- a solo shot in the fourth inning -- and a Chase Calabuig RBI single in the fifth inning.
SDSU scored for the third consecutive inning in the sixth, as a no-doubt three-run home run by Chad Bible cleared the wall in left field by a hefty distance to extend SDSU's lead to 5-0. Bible's home run was his seventh of the year, good for the most on the team.
The Aztecs added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, scoring in the fourth consecutive inning, after a high-chopping ground ball by Dean Nevarez found its way through the infield to plate both David Hensley and Matt Rudick.
After Fernandez's impressive six innings on the mound, Jacob Erickson and Ray Lambert picked up right where Fernandez left off, holding Fresno State hitless for the last three innings of the game. Erickson allowed just one base runner over the seventh and eighth innings while striking out a pair and Lambert posted a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal SDSU's series win and first shutout of the season.
At the plate, Hensley led the Aztecs with three hits in a 3-for-4 showing at the plate, while Rudick and Bible each posted two hits apiece. Bible and Nevarez combined for five of SDSU's seven RBIs in the game, driving in three and two runs, respectively.
- SDSU earns its 100th win over Fresno State and takes a lead in the all-time series at 100-99. Fresno State becomes the Aztecs have beaten 100 times, joining New Mexico (113 wins), Air Force (108 wins) and Utah (102 wins).
- SDSU won its 73rd consecutive game when leading after eight innings.
The Aztecs are a perfect 9-0 in series finales this season and are 9-1 on Sundays in 2018. SDSU has won five consecutive games on Sundays and have outscored its opponents in series finales, 80-36 (good for an average of 8.9 runs scored per game in series finales).
SDSU is 11-3 this season when hitting a home run and have won five consecutive games when hitting a home run.
SDSU is 9-3 this season when not recording an error and have won four consecutive games when not recording an error.
For the week, Jorge Fernandez posted 10 shutout innings while allowing five hits and no walks while striking out 10. Fernandez held opponents to a .139 batting average over the course of his start on Tuesday against CSUN and his Sunday start against Fresno State. Fernandez's streak of 10 consecutive scoreless innings is his longest of the season.
Chase Calabuig reached base in his 43rd consecutive home game after going 1-for-3 at the plate. The streak for Calabuig is the longest in Tony Gwynn Stadium history (since 1997).
Matt Rudick (14 games), Chad Bible (10 games) and Chase Calabuig (10 games) all extended double-digit on-base streaks on Sunday.
Chad Bible recorded his 11th multi-RBI game of the season, good for the highest total on the team.
Over SDSU's recently-completed eight-game homestand, David Hensley led the team with a .484 batting average, going 15-for-31 at the plate.