Aztecs remain perfect in Mountain West action
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 9, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego State baseball team stayed unbeaten in Mountain West play on Friday night, defeating Air Force, 3-2, at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs up its record to 9-4 on the year with a 3-0 mark in MW action, while Air Force falls to 4-9 after its MW-opener loss.
Jacob Erickson got the ball for his first start of the 2018 season and shined, recording seven strikeouts while allowing just five hits and one run. Erickson started his outing in style, retiring each of the first nine batters he faced.
The Aztecs got on the board first with Grant Mayeaux’s first home run of the season – a no-doubter to left field – in the bottom of the third inning. Air Force responded an inning later with a 1-run, 2-hit top of the fourth and grabbed the lead in the top of the fifth after Erickson allowed an unearned run to cross.
Chase Calabuig drove in his team-leading 11th RBI of the year to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, hitting an opposite-field RBI double to left center to score David Hensley.
In the seventh, Jorge Fernandez came on in relief of Erickson and stranded a pair of inherited runners by inducing a flyout to right to end the threat.
It was Calabuig again who provided the much-needed offense, as aggressive base running in the bottom of the eighth while at third base eventually led to an opportunity to score on a wild pitch thrown by Air Force’s Shawn Kelly.
Fernandez capped a dominant outing by facing the minimum in the ninth inning. After striking out the first batter he faced in the ninth, Fernandez hit Air Force’s Daniel Jones with a pitch, however, Fernandez was able to pick off a leading Jones at first base to provide the Aztecs with its second out of the ninth. Fernandez ended the ballgame just moments later, getting Colby Brown to swing and miss on a 2-2 count to clinch Fernandez’s second win of the season.
- Combining his 147 wins as an assistant at Mesa State (now Colorado Mesa), his 467 wins as an assistant at New Mexico, his 273 wins as an assistant at San Diego State and now, his 113 wins as head coach at SDSU, head coach Mark Martinez has now been in the dugout for 1,000 collegiate baseball victories since starting his coaching career in 1984.
- In his 100th career appearance, Jacob Erickson made just the fifth start of his collegiate career and posted a career-high seven strikeouts with five hits allowed and one earned run allowed. Erickson, who leads all of DI baseball with 100 appearances, is now just six appearances away from tying Kevin Piper’s program record of 106 appearances set in 1985. Erickson also recorded his 100th career strikeout with his fifth strikeout of tonight’s outing and leads all current Aztecs with 102 career strikeouts.
- The Aztecs are 6-1 in games in which Erickson has pitched this year.
- The outing for Erickson was the second longest of his career at 6.2 innings, second to only his first career start as a freshman in the Mountain West tournament in 2015 against New Mexico when he pitched seven innings.
- Jorge Fernandez lowered his season ERA to 0.79 by retiring each of the seven batters he faced against Air Force. On the season, the Aztec bullpen has collectively posted a 2.51 ERA and a 5-2 record.
- Chase Calabuig extended his on-base streak in home games to 28 games. In his career, Calabuig has hit .373 (19-for-51) with 18 runs scored, three extra-base hits, a .492 on-base percentage, and eight RBI in 15 career games against the Falcons.
- San Diego State has won 57 consecutive games when leading after eight innings and is 8-0 on the season in that situation.
- SDSU has won four consecutive one-run games and is 8-1 in its last nine games decided by one run.
- Although only 13 games into the 2018 season, the Aztec pitching staff has collectively posted a 3.00 ERA, which would be the best for a single season since the 1971 team recorded a 2.53 ERA.
The second game of this weekend’s series is scheduled for Saturday, March 10 at 4:00 p.m. SDSU is expected to send RHP Harrison Pyatt (1-0, 3.68 ERA) to the mound, while Air Force is expected to send RHP Matt Hargreaves (0-3, 7.43 ERA) in tomorrow’s affair at Tony Gwynn Stadium. ECM will have live coverage of this game starting at 4 p.m. Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live in-game updates.