Aztecs finish three game series with 47 strikeouts
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
February 16, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego State baseball fell victim to a four-run ninth inning rally, dropping a 9-8 decision to San Francisco in game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
After San Francisco jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the top of the first, the Aztecs immediately responded with a four-spot in the bottom half of the inning. After Angelo Armenta recorded a two-out double, Julian Escobedo drove Armenta in on an infield single. Later in the inning, Brian Leonhardt scorched a double to right field to score Chad Bible and Escobedo, before Casey Schmitt hit a go-ahead single to score Leonhardt.
SDSU continued a persistent early offensive attack in the second and third, as Angelo Armenta brought home Jaden Fein on his second double of the day in the second. After Bible led off the third with a single, Schmitt, Fein, and Matt Rudick all drove in runs to provide a 8-3 lead.
The Dons chipped away with two runs in the fourth, closing SDSU starter Brad Wegman’s day after four innings. Casey O’Sullivan put on the most dominant relief outing of his career, striking out a career-high seven over 2.2 innings without surrendering a hit.
Facing an 8-5 deficit, the Dons put on a four-run, four-hit frame to take a 9-8 edge. The Aztecs showed signs of grabbing the lead right back after a David Alamillo bunt single and a Leonhardt walk, but were ultimately just inches away from scoring the tying run, as a hard-hit line drive by Joe Fitzhugh in the left-centerfield gap was chased down by Don centerfielder Tyler Villaroman on a full-extension catch. Alamillo was doubled up at second on the play to end the game.
Five Aztecs recorded two-hit performances, including Armenta, Escobedo, Leonhardt, Schmitt, and Fein. Schmitt was handed the loss after allowing two earned runs in the ninth, while USF’s Julian Washburn earned the win throwing two innings of shutout relief.
Julian Escobedo’s 2-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh led the Aztecs to a 6-3 win against San Francisco on Saturday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
The Aztecs jumped to a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second, highlighted by Mike Jarvis’ 2-RBI double down the left field line and Jacob Maekawa’s RBI single to center field.
SDSU broke the 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with Escobedo’s 2-RBI single and a RBI single by Brian Leonhardt. Angelo Armenta, Matt Rudick and Escobedo all scored runs to give SDSU the 6-3 advantage.
Christian Winston and Adrian Mardueno recorded all of their outs via strikeout over the last three innings of the game. Starter Harrison Pyatt recorded five strikeouts in four innings of work, while Aaron Eden recorded one in two innings.
Winston earned the win after 1.1 innings of one-hit relief, while USF’s Alex Pham was dealt the loss after allowing two runs on two hits with two walks over three innings pitched. Mardueno notched his first save of the year after striking out five of the six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings.
Leonhardt and Jacob Maekawa led the Aztecs with two hits apiece.
- San Diego State recorded 15 or more strikeouts for the third consecutive game, marking the first time in the Mountain West era (since 2000). The Aztecs recorded 47 strikeouts in just 27 innings this weekend, good for a 15.67 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. The 47 strikeouts also stands as the most in a single series during the Mountain West era.
- SDSU recorded 22 runs for the weekend, however, the Aztecs produced 16 two-out RBIs for the series.
- San Diego State saw its 86-game winning streak when leading after eight innings come to a close after the 9-8 loss in game 1. The Aztecs also had an 18-game winning streak when leading after six innings and a 22-game winning streak when leading after seven.
- SDSU finishes the series with a 15-6 record in opening-weekend series games since the start of the 2013 season. The Aztecs have now won five of their last six season-opening series.
- Preseason all-American closer Casey Schmitt saw his run of 25.1 consecutive scoreless innings come to a close.
- For the weekend, SDSU outhit USF .320 - .232 and outscored the Dons 22-15.
Logged his second multi-RBI game of the season and seventh of his career… Extended his on-base streak to a career-best 27 games... Led SDSU in batting average (500), runs (4), hits (6), home runs (1), RBIs (8), total bases (10), slugging percentage (.833), and on-base percentage (.571) for the series.
San Diego State Head Coach Mark Martinez
“It was great to win two out of three. Opening weekend, there’s always a lot of anxiety and adrenaline. We spent a lot of energy yesterday. It was a Friday and it was opening day. There’s a lot of anticipation and fans are excited. We went ahead and did a three hour and 40-something minute game last night, just to turn around and be here at 9:00 to pull the tarp. It was a long day and what I’m mostly proud of is the way we lost the first game today and came back and won today, so that shows a little bit of character for us.”
SDSU is set to play UC Irvine at 6:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The game can be listened to live on Fox Sports San Diego XTRA 1360.