Baseball defeats Cal State Fullerton in home opener


Luis Lopez

Senior outfielder Mike Jarvis scores during the Aztecs’ 8-4 win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 18 at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

by Daniel Guerrero, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State baseball won 8-4 its home opener to No. 24 Cal State Fullerton at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Feb. 18.

Two-RBI performances from both senior left fielder Ryan Orr, junior shortstop Anthony Walters and a two-hit, RBI night from senior Mike Jarvis helped the Aztecs (3-1) overcome a 4-2 fourth inning deficit over the Titans (2-2).

Here are three observations from the Aztecs’ win over the Titans.

1. Aztecs scored in all fashions

Typically, you hear about the Aztec men’s basketball team connecting from deep. At Tony Gwynn Stadium on Tuesday night, it was the baseball team who received help from the long ball.

Senior center fielder Mike Jarvis hit a solo home run to lead off the first inning. In the fourth inning, it was junior shortstop Anthony Walters who connected for a two-run home run on an 0-2 pitch that tied the ballgame at 4-4.

Aztecs head coach Mark Martinez said the leadoff home run from Jarvis provided a boost for the team early in the game.

“Even though it was in the first inning, it’s a huge moment deal where we thought we could win,” Martinez said.

Even if it wasn’t the long ball, the Aztecs recorded key RBI hits.

That included a fifth inning, go-ahead two-RBI double from senior Ryan Orr and an RBI single in the seventh from sophomore designated hitter Brian Leonhardt that made it an 8-4 game.

Jarvis said the ability to score in different ways helped the Aztecs pull out the win.

“It obviously important to be able to be able to score in a lot of different ways,” he said. “The key takeaway from it is just we’ve got a lot of guys. It’s not just one or two guys, it’s the whole lineup that can find a way to get it done.”

2. A combined effort on the mound for the Aztecs

It was a bullpen kind of night for SDSU as it took five pitchers to combine for the win over the Titans.

Junior pitcher Jacob Flores gave the Aztecs three innings, allowing two runs on four hits in his first start of the season.

The first man out of the bullpen following Flores was junior Tre Brown. Brown surrendered two runs over two innings before he was replaced with junior Christian Winston to start the sixth inning.

Winston, sophomore designated hitter and pitcher Brian Leonhardt and junior third baseman and pitcher Casey Schmitt combined to shutout CSUF over the last five innings of the contest.

Leonhardt said the combined effort was needed after the Aztecs’ recent three-game road trip in the Coastal Carolina Tournament.

“This weekend we burned a lot of pitchers,” he said, “To have everybody come out with short innings today and work together as a staff was huge.”

Martinez said the combined effort is typical for Tuesday night games.

“That’s kind of a typical Tuesday,” Martinez said. “You’re gonna see that. A lot of guys are getting ran out there.”

3. Mental mistakes hurt the Aztecs

In a game where the Aztecs had almost more errors (six in total) than Titan runs, fielding cost the Aztecs some runs.

A throwing error on a pick off attempt to first base by Flores in the third inning allowed senior designated hitter Isaiah Garcia to advance to third base. Garcia came around to score an at-bat later after Ortiz doubled which tied the game at 2-2.

Fielding issues hit the Aztecs an inning later.

Brown overthrew senior first baseman Jacob Cruce after a sacrifice bunt attempt from CSUF’s freshman outfielder Alex Solis allowed him to reach second base and freshman first baseman Cameron Repetti to advance to third base.

Repetti was singled home by Titans sophomore Zach Lew in the next at-bat which put CSUF up 3-2 in the fourth inning.

Martinez said the fielding errors made it a difficult win for the Aztecs.

“You can’t really give a program like (CSUF) that many opportunities and expect to win,” Martinez said. “We gave them a lot of opportunities, and we found a way to win.

SDSU will play its next game against Iowa on Friday, Feb. 21 in the Aztecs first game of the 2020 Tony Gwynn Classic.