SDSU baseball wins its weekend series against UNLV 2-1

Headlined by a 28-run performance, the Aztec offense carried them to their first Mountain West Conference series win


Fernando Martinez

Right-handed Pitcher Robert Brodell throws a pitch at a home game against CSU Northridge on Feb. 21, 2023.

by Artur Ivanov, Staff Writer

The San Diego State University baseball team won its away series 2-1 against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels over the weekend. The Aztec offense came to life in the series, scoring a combined 44 runs during the three games. Most of these runs came during a 28-run performance in game two of the series, the most runs scored by the Aztecs since 2007. 

In Friday’s game, the Aztecs and Rebels were tied at three runs apiece through the first four innings, before the Aztecs outscored them 5-2 the rest of the way and the game ended in an 8-5 final. In Saturday’s game, SDSU beat the Rebels handily 28-8 by scoring in all but two innings. In Sunday’s series finale, SDSU came all the way back from being down 7-2 early in the game and even had an 8-7 lead in the eighth inning. However, a fielding error by first-year third baseman Cade Martinez in the ninth inning allowed the winning run to score and the Rebels salvaged the last game of the series 9-8.

Since starting the year 0-5, the Aztecs have turned their season around, winning their next four games in a row, including two over the weekend against UNLV. The difference has been the Aztec offense, which has scored 56 runs over their last five games compared to 14 during their first five. 

The Aztec offense saw production all throughout the batting order recently. All but six of the 27 starters in the Aztec lineup during the weekend had at least a hit in the game they started in. The team as a whole batted .383, clobbering five home runs and 12 extra-base hits. It’s hard to lose when the offense is having this much success. 

The Aztecs also capitalized on the Rebels’ mistakes all series long. The Rebels committed 12 errors throughout the series, leaving the door open for several of SDSU’s runs to be scored.

Although many Aztecs contributed to the team’s offensive dominance, junior catcher Poncho Ruiz led the team in hits (seven) and RBIs (eight), all while batting .467 throughout the series. This performance earned him the Mountain West Player of the Week honors on Mar. 6. 

On the flip side, UNLV scored most of its runs against the Aztec starters. Starting pitchers junior TJ Fondtain, junior Jonny Guzman, and sophomore Chris Canada combined to go 11 ⅔ innings giving up 16 runs, 12 of them earned. However, the bullpen silenced the UNLV offense, allowing the Aztec offense to build their leads in games one and two and giving them the chance to mount a comeback in game three. Aztec relievers allowed just two earned runs to score all series long.

SDSU dropped its fourth game of an eight game road trip on Mar. 7 against the University of California Riverside Highlanders 3-1. The Aztecs were originally scheduled to play in San Jose this upcoming weekend but due to impending rain in the Bay Area, the series has been shifted from Excite Ballpark in San Jose to Tony Gwynn Stadium at SDSU.