Reno, Nevada - San Diego State enters this weekend with a chance to win its first Mountain West Regular Season Championship since 2004, needing to win all three games against Nevada in Reno this weekend to do so. SDSU enters this weekend 1.5 games back of Nevada for first place in the conference standings.
Last season, the Aztecs took four of six meetings against the Wolf Pack, winning two-of-three in both home and away series in 2017.
Chase Calabuig hit .421 (8-for-19) over those six games last year to lead all players on the 2018 roster. Jordan Verdon contributed a .348 (8-for-23) showing against the Wolf Pack last season.
Over three appearances last season, Jacob Erickson posted a 1.93 ERA against the Wolf Pack, allowing one earned run over 4.2 innings pitched. Erickson also held Nevada to a .214 opponent batting average in 2017.
ON THE AIR: Nevada will produce this weekend’s games on the Mountain West Network. Links to watch live and links to live stats are available at GoAztecs.com.
WE HAVE BEEN REALLY GOOD LATELY: SDSU is 13-4 in its last 17 games, with three of those losses having come by a one-run margin or in extra innings. The Aztecs are hitting .315 as a team over that stretch, have hit 14 home runs over the last 17 games, and have outscored its opponents 110-58 over that stretch.
The Aztec pitching staff has also done its fair share over the last 17 games, owning a team ERA of 2.96 and opponent batting average of .233 over its last 17 games. Justin Goossen-Brown has collected four of those wins on the mound for SDSU and owns a 2.39 ERA in a team-high 26.1 innings over the team’s last 17 games.
Offensively, the Aztecs are led by Chase Calabuig (.418/.487/.597), Chad Bible (.379/.463/.621) and Jordan Verdon (.357/.395/.700), who leads the team with six home runs and 19 RBIs over the previous 17 games.
SPOT CLINCHED: San Diego State clinched its spot in the 2018 Mountain West Baseball Tournament last weekend, giving the Aztecs its 18th consecutive season with a postseason tournament. The Aztecs have played in a postseason tournament in 20 of the last 21 years. SDSU is 47-30 (.610) all-time in the Mountain West Tournament, good for the most tournament wins and best tournament winning percentage among all active MW members. SDSU is 20-6 in the MW tournament over the last five years and are the only team in DI baseball to have won four conference championships in the last five years.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: San Diego State is 12-7 on the road this season and have won four of its last five road contests. The Aztecs are slashing .335/.397/.524 as a team on the road this year with 23 home runs and 160 runs scored (8.42 runs per game).
SDSU has five players hitting above .350 on the road this year, including Julian Escobedo (.457), Jordan Verdon (.429), Matt Rudick (.387), Chad Bible (.368), and David Hensley (.354).
Verdon currently rides a 23-game on-base streak in road games that carries over a four-game streak to end last season. Verdon also owns an 18-game hitting streak in road games, while Escobedo sits just behind him with an active 14-game on-base streak in road games.
Verdon, Escobedo, and David Hensley have all reached base in each of SDSU’s 19 road games this season.
Despite playing in several offense-friendly ballparks, Garrett Hill has been dominant on the road this year, owning a 1.37 ERA over 26.1 innings pitched over four starts and five appearances. Several members of the SDSU bullpen have also provided solid contributions on the road, including Jacob Erickson (seven appearances, 1.15 ERA), Christian Winston (five appearances, 1.35 ERA), and Casey O’Sullivan (six appearances, 2.08 ERA).
FEATS OF CHASE CALABUIG: Senior Chase Calabuig is ending his collegiate career in style for his senior season, leading the Aztecs with a .400 batting average in conference play. Calabuig leads all players in the MW with 46 hits in conference play. Should Calabuig’s conference average stay at .400 or higher after this weekend, Calabuig would be the first Aztec to reach the .400 threshold since Brandon Meredith, Cory Vaughn, and Mitch Blackburn all hit above .400 in MW play during the 2010 season.
Last weekend, Calabuig extended his on-base streak in home games to 51, extending the Tony Gwynn stadium record. Calabuig’s career hit total stands at 248, which is fourth most in Aztec history. Calabuig leads SDSU with 26 multi-hit games and rides an 11-game hitting streak and 22-game on-base streak. Over his 11-game hitting streak, Calabuig is hitting .512 (22-for-43) with team leads in runs (14), triples (2) and total bases (33).
Calabuig is six games shy of tying SDSU’s all-time games played record and has started in 117 consecutive games. Having played in 230 career games, he’s missed just eight games in his entire four-year career.
Calabuig is one of 10 players in program history to have over 150 runs scored and 210 hits, joined by Bobby Meacham (1979-81), Chris Cannizzaro (1981-83), Kalin Foulds (1994-96, 98), Travis Lee (1994-96), Chris Gwynn (1983-85), Jake McLintock (2002-05), James Guerrero (2003-05), Anthony Gwynn (2001-03), and Paul Lockhart (1997-2000). Calabuig currently owns 123 career RBIs, and when recording his 125th career RBI, Calabuig will join Meacham, Lee, Chris Gwynn, McLintock and Lockhart as the only six players in program history with 125+ RBIs, 150+ runs scored, and 210+ hits.
SUNDAY FUNDAY: SDSU’s 12-2 record on Sundays and 11-1 record in series finales are both the best win-loss records of its kind in the nation.
THE BULLPEN, PRETTY GOOD: Over the team’s last 11 conference games, the SDSU bullpen has allowed just three earned runs, good for a 0.68 ERA over that span. Opponents are also hitting just .158 over that span.
UNSCHMITTABLE: Since taking over the closer’s role on April 2, Casey Schmitt leads the country with nine saves since the start of April and owns the lowest ERA by an Aztec in the Mountain West era (minimum 10 IP) at 0.33.
Schmitt currently rides a 20.2 consecutive scoreless inning streak, with his last run allowed coming against CSU Bakersfield on March 20 (both runs in that outing were unearned). Schmitt enters this weekend having not allowed an earned run in two calendar months, with his last coming at Cal Poly on March 17.
Schmitt, who has solidified himself as one of the best two-way players in the nation as just a freshman, is the only freshman in the country to have driven in 25 or more runs at the plate while owning an ERA under 2.00 (minimum 15 IP). Schmitt is one of just two players in the country to have 25 or more RBIs while owning an ERA below 1.00 (minimum 15 IP), joined by only Duke senior Jack Labosky (33 RBI, 0.30 ERA in 29.2 IP).
GOOD IN ALL ASPECTS: SDSU is one of six teams in the nation to have a batting average above .300 and an ERA below 3.70, joined by only No. 2 Oregon State, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 14 Southern Miss, and St. John’s (Rankings provided by D1Baseball.com).
GOOD PITCHING: SDSU enters the weekend with a 3.61 earned run average, good for the best single-season ERA since 1996 when the team posted a 3.31 ERA. Including this year, SDSU has owned the Mountain West’s best ERA in three of the last four seasons. SDSU’s 3.61 ERA is the best in the MW since UNLV posted a 3.19 team ERA in 2014.
FINISHING STRONG: SDSU enters this weekend having won 82 consecutive games when leading after eight innings, good for one of the top five longest active streaks in the country.
30-WIN MARK: With SDSU’s 31st win on against UC Riverside on May 1, the Aztecs are the only Mountain West program to have more than 30 wins in five of the last six seasons.
AMONG THE NATIONAL/CONFERENCE LEADERS: In addition to being the Mountain West leader in earned run average (3.61), WHIP (1.34) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.48), SDSU ranks among the top of the nation in numerous statistical categories.
- SDSU’s .304 batting average is 11th best in the nation.
- SDSU’s 51 double plays turned are 13th most in the nation
- SDSU’s 100 doubles are the 15th most in the nation
- SDSU’s 554 total hits are 9th most in the nation
- SDSU’s .447 team slugging percentage is 31st best in the nation
- Jordan Verdon and Chase Calabuig are fourth and 19th in the country with 24 and 20 doubles, respectively.
- Jordan Verdon is 30th in the nation with 55 runs batted in and 20th in the nation with 132 total bases.
- Casey Schmitt is 43rd in the country with nine saves.
- Chase Calabuig is 26th in the nation and leads the Mountain West with five triples.
EXPERIENCE ON THE DIAMOND: Despite having a team of 15 freshmen -- the program’s largest freshman class since 2011 -- the Aztecs have two of the most experienced players in the nation this year in Chase Calabuig, who is fourth among all DI players with 230 career games played, and Jacob Erickson, who leads all DI pitchers with 116 career pitching appearances. The Aztecs are the only team in the nation to have a player in the top five of both categories. Erickson set SDSU’s program record in pitching appearances earlier this season and is the Mountain West all-time leader, while Calabuig is six games shy from tying the program’s career games played record (currently owned by Tim Zier (2011-14) with 236, SDSU has three regular-season games remaining and clinched a spot in the MW Tournament last weekend)