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

Baseball knocks off CSU Bakersfield, 11-6 at the Tony Gwynn Legacy

Jacob McCombs hit his second grand slam of his collegiate career
Natali Gonzalez
San Diego State right fielder Shaun Montoya readies for the pitch against Cal State Bakersfield during the Tony Gwynn Legacy tournament at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 24. Montoya finished 2-of-3 with two runs scored and two walks in the Aztecs’ 11-6 win over the Roadrunners.

The San Diego State baseball team played as the away team in an 11-6 win against CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Tony Gwynn Stadium. It was their second game of the 2024 Tony Gwynn Legacy tournament.

The Aztecs (3-3) and the Roadrunners (0-7) did not score for the first four innings. That changed at the top of the fifth inning when the Aztecs scored their first run of the game.

Colby Turner hit a single to the left side of the field and Drew Rutter ran from second to home scoring the Aztecs first run of the night.

Once again, the Aztecs shone in the sixth inning. The Aztecs were able to score three runs on three different plays.

The first play was when Brady Lavoie doubled to the left field. Shaun Montoya advanced to third base and Finley Bates scored for the Aztecs.

Sammy Kahler pinch hit for Rutter and hit a single to center. Lavoie advanced to third and Montoya scored the third run.

After a Roadrunner pitcher switch and an out for the Aztecs, Turner hit a single. Kahler was able to advance to second and Lavoie scored the last run of the top of the sixth for the Aztecs, giving them a 4-0 lead.

The Roadrunners responded in the bottom of the sixth, scoring six runs. The Roadrunner scorers were Konnor Palmeira, Jared Bujanda McConnell, Matt Kurata, Nick Salas, Jonah Shields and Noah Alvarez.

“I told the guys to keep the lead,” head coach Shaun Cole said. “In those situations, I tell our pitchers all the time that an offense is usually going to make a push two or three times a game.”

With the Aztecs down 6-4 the seventh and eighth innings were scoreless. In the ninth the Aztecs popped off, scoring seven runs on just three different plays.

Kahler hit a double to right-center, which advanced Montoya to third and scored Zane Kelly and Jake Jackson to tie the game 6-6.

Then Montoya scored and Kahler advanced to third on a wild pitch, putting the Aztecs up by one.

Freshman Jacob McCombs gave the Aztecs a cushion, by hitting a grand slam. It was McCombs’ second-ever home run in his collegiate career — he hit his first one, also a grand slam, on Wednesday, Feb. 21 against CSU Northridge.

“(McCombs) is advanced and very poised and mature for his age,” Cole said. “He’s done that now twice, where he’s come in hit and hit a grand slam. He’s got a very bright future.”

McCombs’ home run put the Aztecs up 11-6. Turner, Irvin Weems and Kahler all scored on the grand slam.

McCombs shared his thoughts about hitting his second home run.

“I feel blessed, all the work in the dark came to light,” McCombs said.

The Aztecs kept on going and never gave up after being down by two after the sixth inning.

“(Aggressiveness) is what we live by,” McCombs said. “Always fighting until the end, even if we’re down 20 runs we’re always going to fight.”

The Aztecs had to protect the lead at the bottom of the ninth inning. Jadon Bercovich didn’t allow the Roadrunners to score and picked up his first win of the season.

The Tony Gwynn Legacy series has special meaning for Cole, who expressed emotions and how grateful he is to be able to be part of SDSU history.

“I almost got a little emotional (Friday) listening to Chris (Gwynn) speak to our team and Mrs. Gwynn came out to sing the national anthem,” Cole said.

“My connection with the Gwynn family has grown since I’ve taken this job and just being a part of carrying Tony’s legacy forward is pretty cool to be a part of. I feel very fortunate and I’m going to continue to try to elevate this tournament and his legacy while I am here.”

About the Contributors
Abigail Segoviano, Staff Writer
Originally from Richmond, California, Abigail Segoviano is a second-year student, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Spanish. This is Abigail’s second year at the Daily Aztec where she got the opportunity to expand her writing skills as a journalist. As a staff writer last year she had the opportunity to mainly cover the entire season of women’s volleyball and also covered a couple of games for women’s basketball. This year her main focus is to branch out and write for different sports. Additionally to get involved in other sections such as Multimedia and Mundo Azteca. Abigail is the Vice President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (SDSU Chapter). Abigail received an award from The Daily Aztec: “Consistent Contributor.” In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching sports, listening to music, and going on adventures with friends.
Natali Gonzalez, '23-24 Arts & Culture Editor
Natali Gonzalez is an MA student in Rhetoric and Writing Studies. Originally from Ogden, Utah, she got her BA in English Teaching from Weber State University. While there, she worked as a research assistant examining the role of technology in K-12 education. She also worked for Upward Bound as an instructor and tutor. Now, at SDSU, she looks forward to learning about professional writing alongside increasing her knowledge about teaching practices. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys being outdoors, especially exploring the San Diego beaches and going on hikes, and doing yoga and meditation.