San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State baseball wins second game in the weekend series vs Nevada

Excellent pitching and timely hitting propel SDSU baseball to a win against Nevada on Saturday night
Fernando Martinez
Infielder Maddox Haley swings at a pitch during a home game against CSU Northridge on Feb. 21, 2023.

After a historic game the night before, San Diego State baseball followed it up with a 4-3 win over the Nevada Wolf Pack Saturday night in game two of the series.

Sophomore starting pitcher Chris Canada picked up right where junior TJ Fondtain ended the night before, pitching six innings allowing three runs while striking out eight batters. Canada allowed two of those runs on a home run in the 7th inning right before he was taken out. Otherwise, he cruised through the Nevada lineup and at one point retired 11 batters in a row.

“Anytime you get a good start on Friday night, obviously it was an electric start: a no-hitter, it sets a tone for the rest of the group,” San Diego State coach Mark Martinez said. “That definitely gives us a game plan for the next day and then moving into Sunday as well.”

While the Aztecs amassed just five hits in the game, it was when the hits came that really mattered. The Wolf Pack made several key errors allowing for San Diego State batters to capitalize on the miscues, which they did.

“Good teams take advantage of (errors),” Coach Martinez said. “You get extra outs as a Division I program you should be able to tack on runs. We’ve talked about that all year and early in the year we weren’t doing that… when they give you extra outs you have to find a way to continue to add on and I thought we did a good job with that (tonight).”

Out of the gate, both pitchers needed to find their control. Canada plunked a Wolf Pack batter in the first inning while junior starting pitcher Peyton Stumbo for Nevada plunked three batters of his own in the first and second innings. While Stumbo escaped two hits by pitches in the first inning without allowing a run, Stumbo’s defense let him down in the second inning. 

With a runner on first base following the hit by pitch, a sharply hit ground ball by sophomore Irvin Weems should’ve been a double play. However, senior third baseman Jesse Pierce for Nevada bobbled the ball and then overthrew first base, allowing both runners to be safe and advance to another base. One sacrifice bunt and a double later, both of the runners scored and SDSU took a 2-0 lead.

Stumbo bounced back, pitching a scoreless third and fourth inning. Meanwhile, Canada was in the midst of his stretch of retiring 11 batters in a row. This stretch lasted from the last batter of the first inning until the second batter in the fifth inning and of the 11 batters he faced, Canada struck seven of them out. He was locked in.

“Competition is everything and seeing (Fondtain’s no-hitter) makes me eager to go out there and at least try and do something similar,” Canada said. “I’ve been feeling really good especially in those middle innings, like three, four, and five, I feel really dominant. It’s just getting those first, second, fifth and sixth innings dialed in and I think it’s a win everyday.”

In the bottom of the fifth inning, San Diego State tacked on two more runs thanks to doubles from juniors Poncho Ruiz and Cole Carrigg which also doubled up the score, 4-0. However,  Nevada wouldn’t give up and in the sixth inning they finally answered back with a solo home run from fifth year catcher Matt Clayton.

In the 7th, Martinez brought Canada back out for one more inning but unfortunately, it backfired. Canada wouldn’t record an out in that inning, but did give up a walk and a two-run home run to fifth year outfielder Henry Strmecki. Canada would be taken out of the game, which was now at a much closer score of 4-3.

“Chris set the tone. Coming out with that dominant performance,” Martinez said. “If we could rewind a bit, we probably would’ve gotten him out before that last hitter on the home run. He definitely got tired and hung either a changeup or cutter to that guy.”

Clayton nearly had his second home run of the game in the eighth inning, when he hit a double off the wall against sophomore relief pitcher Eldridge Armstrong III, which would have tied the game. However, that was the closest Nevada ever came to scoring again. Aztec relief pitching picked up Canada and tossed three scoreless innings to finish off the game and keep the final score of the game at 4-3.

The Aztecs were now victorious in the first two games of the weekend series against Nevada, thanks in large part to their starting pitching. The starters in both games would toss a combined 15 innings giving up just three runs on three hits, three walks and 22 strikeouts. When the  starting pitching puts up those numbers and the offense scores four runs a game, it’s a perfect recipe for success.

In game three the Aztecs once again scored four runs but this time, the starting pitching could not continue its trend. Sophomore Omar Serrano got the start for the Aztecs and he could not get through four innings, giving up 4 earned runs. Nevada continued their scoring on the Aztec bullpen, scoring six more runs throughout the rest of the game.

The Aztec offense still produced, as seven of the nine starters in their lineup had at least one hit in the game, but they couldn’t keep up with Nevada’s offensive explosion. The game ended at a 10-4 score in the Wolf Pack’s favor.

Despite game three’s outcome, the Aztecs still won the series and improved to a 10-6 record in the Mountain West conference, good for second place. However, the Aztecs dropped another game Tuesday night 14-2 against UC Irvine, a non-conference opponent. They look to get back on track and continue to improve their Mountain West record this weekend at home against UNLV, an opponent they’ve gone 5-1 against so far this season.

Activate Search
San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
San Diego State baseball wins second game in the weekend series vs Nevada