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 loses MWC opener against Fresno State 12-6

Aztecs were not able to rally after allowing 11 runs through five innings
Callum Wilson
San Diego State pitcher Chris Canada winds up to throw a pitch on the mound earlier this season at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs fell to Fresno State 12-6, as Canada allowed eight runs, and two strikeouts on a brief outing.

On a windy, rainy night at Bob Bennett Stadium, the San Diego State baseball team’s (3-6) losing streak grew to three games after dropping the first meeting of a three-game series against Fresno State (6-2), 12-6. 

This is the first in-conference meeting for both programs this season. In addition, this is SDSU’s first time playing a series on the road.

The last time Fresno State and San Diego State faced off was during last season’s Mountain West tournament, where the Bulldogs ended the Aztecs’ season 4-2 in a double-elimination game. It was also the last game coached by previous head coach Mark Martinez.

For most of the game, it was a tough night in the office for the Mesa due to a lack of good pitching and timely batting. 

On the mound for SDSU, making his third start of the season, was left-handed pitcher Chris Canada (0-1). The starting pitcher for the Bulldogs was left-hander Jake Dixon (2-0).

Fresno State struck early with the game’s first run in the first inning from a Tristan Gray sacrifice fly to bring in second baseman Eddie Saldivar. 

The bats came alive early for the Bulldogs in the second inning when center fielder Michael McKernan bunt in a run to grab a two-score lead. 

Two batters later, Tristan Gray smashed a two-run single to right field, bringing in Saldivar and McKernan. Then, left fielder Rocco Peppi launched an RBI double to score Tommy Hopfe. Following suit with Peppi, Grady Morgan bats in a two-run double. 

In total, Fresno State scored seven runs on five hits, including two walks and an error.  

Canada’s night was cut short, only pitching 1 2⁄3 innings before head coach Shaun Cole visited him on the mound. In his brief outing, Canada coughed up eight runs, five hits, two strikeouts and three walks on 61 total pitches. 

He was also counted for hitting a batter, which put him at five so far on the season. 

During the first inning, Canada, on his second batter, allowed a balk, which allowed the first run to advance into scoring position. This is the second game in which he has been called for a balk. 

Right-handed pitcher Jacob Riordan was able to come in to close out the second inning for Canada. 

The Scarlet and Black were able to bang in their first of the game in the fifth inning on an RBI single by freshmen second basemen Finely Bates, scoring in junior Evan Sipe from second base.

The Aztecs, though, could not find a way to keep the game close as the Bulldogs extended their lead to 11-1 in the bottom half of the fifth on a bases-clearing three-run double by Hopfe. 

Fresno State pitcher Dixon had a terrific performance tonight against the Aztecs, going six innings, allowing a run on five hits, two strikeouts and two walks. Dixon finished with a total of 89 pitches.

In the eighth inning, San Diego State cut Fresno State’s lead in half, scoring five runs. Previous Mountain West Freshman of the Week, Jake Jackson, brought in the Aztecs second run on a fielder’s choice. 

Pinch hitting for first baseman Brady Lavoie, Tino Bethancourt scored an RBI walk in the reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Week Colby Turner. The next batter, Evan Sipe, crushed a two-run double to left field to make the game 11-6. 

SDSU forced Fresno to work their bullpen, having them change their pitcher twice during that inning.  

Similar to the fifth inning, Fresno State increased its lead by bringing across the game’s final run on an RBI double by catcher Ben Newton. 

Reliever pitcher Riordan had an honorable game coming in for Canada, going against 26 batters, allowing four runs on seven hits, including five strikeouts and a walk. Riordan nearly hit the century mark on his total pitch count, finishing with 93.   

Tonight was a big night for Fresno State’s Saldivar, going 2 for 3 with two hits, two walks, two runs and an RBI. 

Additionally, Hopfe finished with a good line, going 2-4, with a single, a double, a walk and three RBIs. 

On a positive note for the Aztecs, Evan Sipe finished with two doubles and two RBIs. Sipe currently stands with eight hits on the season, including a team-leading five doubles on the year. 

The Aztecs will return to the diamond later today at 3 p.m. for the second game of a three-game series against Fresno State. 

The starting pitcher for SDSU will be Omar Serrano, who is set to make his third start.

About the Contributor
Callum Wilson, Staff Writer
Callum Wilson (he/him/his) is an 18-year-old journalism major switching to international security conflict resolution. He is originally from a small college town in the middle of Kansas called Manhattan. At six years old he moved to Kansas City where he spent the next six years of his life. In the summer of 2016, he moved to San Diego where he graduated from high school. He did one year at his school’s paper before participating in The San Diego Union-Tribune Community Scholars Program during the summer of 2022. He has an older brother who recently graduated from UCLA. When he isn’t taking photos he is watching soccer, the NFL, and the MLB. Callum religiously supports Kansas City sports, Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, and the local men's team San Diego Loyal.