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

SDSU baseball’s Sunday loss concludes Tony Gwynn tournament with a 2-1 record

The Aztecs couldn’t recover after the Utes doubled their score in the seventh inning
Natali Gonzalez
San Diego State outfielder Drew Rutter approaches third base at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 25. Rutter scored in the bottom of the third inning in the 11-5 loss to the Utah Utes.

The San Diego State baseball team (3-4) concluded the ninth annual Tony Gwynn Legacy tournament with an 11-5 loss to the Utah Utes (7-1) on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Xavier Cardenas started on the mound for the Aztecs, honoring Tony Gwynn by wearing the number nineteen jersey. Jaden Harris started for Utah.

The Utes seized an early lead with two runs in the first inning: a triple to right center brought in the first run, followed by a stolen base for the second. The gap widened as Utah capitalized on wild pitching to score three more runs in the third inning, bringing the score to 5-0.

During the third inning, head coach Shaun Cole called a timeout to talk with Cardenas and catcher David Whittle. Cardenas admitted feeling rushed at the time, recognizing Cole’s assistance in helping him regain focus. 

“He was able to bring me back to what it was,” Cardenas said. 

Despite the setback, the Aztecs launched a comeback in the bottom of the third, tying the game at 5-5. The rally started with a walk for Finley Bates, followed by a clutch double to left center by Shaun Montoya, advancing Bates to third. 

Jake Jackson then singled to shortstop, bringing Bates home and advancing Montoya to third. Montoya scored when Drew Rutter reached on a fielder’s choice. Colby Turner’s subsequent double to left field scored Rutter while advancing Irvin Weems, who reached base on a walk. Brady Lavoie’s single to left field knotted the game, driving in Turner and Weems.

Neither team scored in the following three innings, but notable pitching changes were made. Jackson Elder took the mound for Harris for Utah in the fourth, and Aidan Russell relieved Cardenas for SDSU in the sixth.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Utes scored five runs, which doubled their score. Among the five, two were unearned. Garvey Rumary was brought in to pitch for Russell, securing the final out of the inning. 

“An offense is going to make two or three pushes a game, and we have to do a really good job of managing that,”  Cole said, reflecting on the seventh inning. “Our offense has proven that we can come back late, so we need to keep them somewhat close, and we didn’t do a good job of that today.”

In the ninth inning, Utah extended their lead with their eleventh run of the night, courtesy of a double followed by a single. Meanwhile, the Aztecs failed to produce any additional runs after their fifth-inning rally. 

Despite the loss, Cole expressed satisfaction with the team’s overall performance for the weekend. 

“If we go two out of three every weekend, we’re going to be in a great spot,” he said.

Baseball beat Missouri 10-3 on Friday, followed by an 11-6 victory over CSU Bakersfield on Saturday.

The team will return to the diamond on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at UC Riverside.

About the Contributor
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.