Aztecs defeat Air Force, 3-2, to open weekend series


Photo by Kelly Smiley

Chase Calabuig stands at the plate during the Aztecs 3-2 victory over Arizona on Feb. 23 at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

by Justin Wylie, Staff Writer

San Diego State baseball won 3-2 against the Air Force Academy, scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Junior pitcher Jake Gilbert loaded the bases full of Aztecs, before sophomore pitcher Shawn Kelley came on in relief and threw a wild pitch on a 1-2 count to score senior outfielder Chase Calabuig.  

Gilbert (1-1) was given the loss after coming on in relief for Falcons starting junior pitcher Tyler Mortenson.

Mortenson went 7.0 innings with  eight strikeouts while allowing four hits and two runs (one earned).

Senior pitcher Jacob Erickson started the game for SDSU, and went 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts while allowing five hits and two runs (one earned) in his first start of the season.

“He’s unbelievable, and it was a very gutty performance out of (Erickson),” Martinez said.

Erickson said that he was happy to be given the ball to open up the home series.

“It’s cool, especially it being my fifth year in college to get the Friday night honor in a big conference game,” Erickson said “It felt good to go out there and compete and ultimately get a win.”

Senior pitcher Jorge Fernandez (2-1) got the win after coming on in relief in the seventh inning, pitching 2.1 innings of hitless ball.  

Senior infielder Grant Mayeaux kicked off the scoring for the Aztecs after hitting his first home run of the season, and first in an SDSU uniform.

Air Force responded with a run in both the fourth and fifth inning, after RBI singles by junior infielder Nic Ready and senior infielder Ryan Robb.  

The Aztecs second run came on a Calabuig RBI double which scored senior infielder David Hensley.

Head coach Mark Martinez has now won 1,000 games as a coach, which dates back to his time as an assistant with Colorado Mesa University and University of New Mexico.

“It’s nice to be in the game this long,” Martinez said “I’ve been very blessed and I’ve been lucky to be around some great mentors and people who have allowed me to do what I do.”

The Aztecs play the second game of the series on March 10 at Tony Gwynn Stadium.