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

Two SDSU baseball coaches ejected during Saturday night’s win vs UNLV

Tempers flared between the two teams as the Aztecs came back and won 5-2 after being down 2-0 to take sole possession of first place in the Mountain West
Fernando Martinez
Right-handed Pitcher Robert Brodell throws a pitch at a home game against CSU Northridge on Feb. 21, 2023.

A first-inning hit by pitch by the UNLV rebels led San Diego State volunteer assistant coach Brian Shubsda, and then later head coach Mark Martinez, to be ejected from Saturday night’s baseball game. Shubsda’s ejection occurred in the first inning when the Aztecs trailed 2-0 in the game, which they used as momentum to rally back and win the game 5-2. 

“It started last night with them throwing at TJ Fondtain,” Martinez said. “They hit him in the head… that was intentional, but they’ll say that it wasn’t… Today in the bottom of the first inning they threw behind Cole Carrigg. [Noah Beal] is not a guy who is going to throw a bunch of wild pitches and so it started from there. I think it’s a bush league way to go about it.” 

Martinez was later ejected in the sixth inning following an altercation with an umpire. It was his second ejection this season.

“[UNLV is] still jawing all game,” Martinez said. “The only guy [the umpires] talk to is Cole Carrigg. He brought some of that on himself but whatever. They are throwing at him, number one. Number two, [Carrigg] gets picked off and they are running down the dugout chirping at him. [The umpires] didn’t say anything. I was pissed, I’ll be real honest. I don’t think that’s the way the game is played, it’s a bootleg way to play baseball.”

Despite missing both coaches for a portion of the game, SDSU still managed to win the game behind some strong starting pitching and timely hitting. The win moved San Diego State into sole possession of first place in the Mountain West at 12-6.

The game was started by junior pitcher Noah Beal for the Rebels and sophomore pitcher Chris Canada for the Aztecs. Both pitchers came into the game with ERAs over five and looked to settle in early on. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen for either pitcher.

Canada began the game by getting the first Rebel batter out on a hard line drive to center field before allowing back-to-back home runs to juniors Rylan Charles and Jacob Sharp. With the Rebels now up 2-0, Canada then allowed a walk and a single before SDSU pitching coach Shaun Cole came out to calm him down. Despite getting punched in the mouth by the Rebel offense immediately into the game, Canada got junior Braden Murphy to hit into an inning-ending double play and escape the inning just allowing the two home runs. 

“I knew I was leaving balls up, it’s pretty obvious when the balls went that far,” Canada said. “I just really worked on my downhill plane the rest of the game. Just working with my stuff and trusting it.”

Beal also ran into trouble early on. Beal nearly hit Carrigg in the back, his second batter of the game, causing warnings to be given out to both sides after SDSU junior TJ Fondtain was nearly hit in the head by a UNLV pitcher the game before. SDSU coaches were unhappy with warnings given to them despite being the victims in both instances. This led to arguing as well as coach Shubsda being ejected after arguing with the UNLV bench. Ultimately, this altercation would lead to the Aztecs gaining momentum and scoring on junior Poncho Ruiz’s RBI double.

With the score now 2-1, the Aztecs took the lead in the second inning on two RBI singles from sophomore Irvin Weems and freshman Cade Martinez. The scoring continued for the Aztecs the very next inning when junior Caden Miller launched his third home run on the season. In just three innings, the Aztecs doubled the UNLV run total and were up 4–2.

After his rocky first inning, Canada cruised through the rest of the game and ultimately went through six innings with just the two earned runs while also striking out eight Rebels. The double play in the first inning proved to be a pivotal play for Canada.

“It was huge,” Martinez said. “I think it was after Coach Cole went out for a visit. I don’t know what he told him… but I think it kept the momentum in our dugout for sure.”

In the sixth inning, Martinez argued with the umpire about the way he was handling some of the things the UNLV players were saying to his team, specifically Carrigg. Martinez was ejected from the game soon after, but not before giving the umpires an ear full. That same inning, the Aztecs continued putting distance between them and the Rebels, scoring once more on a UNLV throwing error by their shortstop. 

Down 5-2, UNLV was unable to put anything else together offensively and the score would end at 5-2. The Aztecs were now 4-1 against the Rebels on the year and were looking to complete the series sweep on Sunday. Unfortunately for SDSU, they would lose on Sunday 4-1 and drop to a 12-7 record in the Mountain West. 

However, San Jose State was swept by Air Force over the weekend, which allowed SDSU to move into first place in the Mountain West standings ahead of their weekend battle against one another. The series between SDSU and San Jose State will be played at stadiums in both Berkeley and Stanford and will feature two separate double headers that will act as makeup games from previously postponed and suspended games earlier in the season. It will ultimately be a five game series.

“It’s awesome,” Carrigg said about taking sole possession of first place. “We got cut short my freshman year because there was no conference tournament and we had a really good team. Last year was really rough. This year to be in first place means everything. That’s our only goal right now: to get into the conference tournament, win that, and get into regionals.”

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Two SDSU baseball coaches ejected during Saturday night’s win vs UNLV