Baseball Hosts No. 16 New Mexico for MW Series
May 14, 2013
San Diego State concludes its regular season this week as it plays host to No. 16 New Mexico for a three-game series that gets underway on Thursday (May 16) at 6:00 p.m. (PT) at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs and Lobos will also meet for contests on Friday (May 17) and Saturday (May 18) at 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. (PT) respectively.
Saturday (May 18) has been designated as Senior Day for Aztec baseball. During pregame ceremonies, SDSU will honor six seniors making their final appearances at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Included in that group are a pair of four-year Aztecs in pitchers Bryan Crabb and Ethan Miller. The other four seniors include two-year junior college transfers Ryan Doran, Travis Pitcher, Jake Romanski and John Spirk.
SEEKING WIN NO. 100
San Diego State will be looking for its 100th all-time win over New Mexico during this week's three-game series. The Aztecs' record against the Lobos entering the week stands at 99-63. SDSU has recorded 100 wins against one other school. It's record vs. Utah stands at 102-34. San Diego State has played its most games against Fresno State, who it has faced 166 times. The Aztecs have a record of 81-85 against the Bulldogs.
MW TOURNEY IMPLICATIONS
San Diego State currently sits in third place in the Mountain West with a record of 15-12 in league play. New Mexico has clinched the regular-season title. In the six-team conference tournament (May 22-26 in Fresno), the top two seeds (i.e. first- and second-place finishers) earn byes in the first round. Should the Aztecs and UNLV finish with identical records, the Rebels would get the bye as they hold the tiebreaker against SDSU by virtue of winning four of the six games between the teams this season. The only way SDSU can attain the No. 2 seed is if it wins two more games than UNLV this week. The Rebels will be at Air Force for a three-game series. If the Aztecs finish third, they will face Air Force in the opening game of the conference tournament on Wednesday, May 22, at 3:00 p.m. at Beiden Field in Fresno, Calif.
DEFENSE AND PITCHING
The Aztecs are on course to record their best season fielding percentage in the history of the program dating back to 1936. The team's current fielding mark of .976 surpasses the school record of .974 turned in by the 2009 squad. In addition, SDSU will also likely set a team mark for errors in a season since the Aztecs began playing a minimum of 40 games in a season (1965). They have 46 miscues with the next lowest season total being 65 in 2009. The Aztecs could also finish with their lowest team earned run average in 17 seasons. Their current mark of 3.78 is the lowest since the 1996 campaign when they ended the year with a 3.31 ERA. San Diego State leads the Mountain West (both overall and in conference play) in both pitching and defense.
ENTERING THE RECORD BOOK
Evan Potter's 13 sacrifice bunts ties for second in the all-time SDSU listing. He needs one to tie the school season record set by Steve Boucher in 1990. Tim Zier's 10 sac bunts ties for seventh. Ty France has been hit by pitch nine times this season, a figure that ties for 15th in the Aztec record book. On the SDSU career list, Potter's 26 sac bunts rank third while Zier's 16 career sac bunts are tied for 15th. Tim Zier has been hit by pitch 22 times during his career to rank fifth. Brad Haynal has 13 career hit by pitch to tie for 17th on the all-time last. Bubba Derby's 10 saves rank as the sixth-most in a season by an Aztec pitcher and tie him for 10th place on the SDSU career list.
As a team, San Diego state ranked among the top 60 in the nation in four categories at the beginning of the week. There are currently a total of 295 teams playing Division I baseball. That list includes fielding percentage (.975 - 30th), strikeouts per nine innings (7.6 - 46th), stolen bases (74 - 52nd) and hits per nine innings pitched (8.51 - 57th). Individually, Michael Cederoth ranks 17th in strikeouts (92), 17th in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (10.35) and 38th in hits allowed per nine innings (6.3). In addition, Evan Potter ranks 23rd in sacrifice bunts while Bubba Derby is 34th in saves with 10.
The Aztecs' 18 runs against No. 21 UC Irvine on April 23 was their highest output of the season while their 18 hits in that contest tied for the most in a game this season ... Opponents have been successful on less than half (36-of-73) of their steal attempts against the Aztecs this season ... Matt Muñoz is 3-for-4 in a pinch hitting role this season while teammate Justin Gheorghe has gone 2-for-3. The pair accounts for five of SDSU's six pinch hits in 2013 ... Freshman left Collin Orellana made just his second appearance of the season on May 7 at UC Riverside. He tossed 2.1 innings in that contest striking out five and picking up his first collegiate win ... Justin Gheorghe is 3-for-8 with four walks in his last three games ... Ethan Miller has allowed no runs on a hit, walk and five strikeouts over his last three relief appearances covering 5.1 innings ... Freshman hurler Zack Oakley has allowed one earned run in his last four relief appearances (9.0 innings).