Saturday, April 10 | 1 p.m. PT | Tony Gwynn Stadium
Nevada: Alejandro Murillo, RHP (1-0, 3.42 ERA, 26.1 IP)
SDSU: Michael Paredes, RHP (3-0, 3.45 ERA, 44.1 IP)
Saturday, April 10 | 4:30 p.m. PT | Tony Gwynn Stadium
Nevada: Jake Jackson, RHP (3-1, 3.54 ERA, 28.0 IP)
SDSU: Troy Melton, RHP (3-2, 3.99 ERA, 38.1 IP)
Sunday, April 11 | 1 p.m. PT | Tony Gwynn Stadium
Nevada: Cam Walty, RHP (0-3, 5.79 ERA, 23.1 IP)
SDSU: Ricky Tibbett, RHP (2-0, 3.70 ERA, 24.1 IP)
San Diego is the place to be for great baseball.
Last weekend, the Aztecs walked off both games of the doubleheader. In the final game of the series, they enjoyed a 15-0 mercy-rule victory.
Shortly before this is being written, Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history. The Aztecs have a chance to continue the momentum this weekend against the Nevada Wolfpack.
Nevada was one of the worst teams in all of the NCAA last season. They finished their season with a .188 batting average and 6.49 ERA.
This season, they have started to elevate their game. They are fourth in the MWC with an 8-12 record on the season.
Three Nevada players to know
- Jake Jackson
Jackson has been one of the top starters for the Wolfpack all season. This season he has made an effort to throw more strikes, and the results have shown, but not necessarily in a positive way. His walks per nine have dropped from 2.6 to 1.6. On the flip side, his hits per nine increased from 9.8 to 12.2, and his K/9 dropped from 6.0 to 5.1. This means fans should be on the lookout for many balls in play when he is pitches. The key will be if he can force weak contact or not.
- Dario Gomez
The redshirt sophomore is on a tear at the plate. His 1.012 OPS is the highest on the team of qualified batters. He is a big-time slugger with a .610 SLG and has a balls in play mindset. That is shown with a .378 AVG and a .402 OBP.
- Tyler Bosseti
There seems to be something about versatile fielders in this age of baseball. They typically are great fielders, but they also are showing some pop in bat. Bosseti slashes .329/.398/.488 with 11 doubles this season. That slash line marks career highs in all three categories in his fourth season of play.
Three keys to watch this series
- Enjoy the Fans
In a postgame press conference, coach Mark Martinez credited the fans for helping the team get both walk-off victories. The SDSU dugout is one of the most talkative in the whole Mountain West Conference. It’s no surprise that their family members are just as big, if not bigger, talkers.
- The Aztecs can attack at any time.
In their first walk-off victory, they needed six runs in the 9th to walk away with the win. In their mercy rule game, they had three innings in which they scored four or more runs. The offense is loaded 1-9, and anyone on the team can lead them to victory.
- Walks are bigger than ever
The Aztecs and Wolfpack are 1 and 2 in MW walks allowed with 105 and 99, respectively. Yet, each team has significantly lowered their walks in the past few series. Aside from one seven-walk performance against Air Force, Nevada hasn’t allowed more than four walks in the last two series. Similarly, the Aztecs were struggling with the number of walks their pitchers were allowing. Even when allowing nine runs to New Mexico, they only allowed two walks all game.
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Each team has been wild on the mound this year. If they can limit the walks as they have recently, then both offenses will have a field day. The pitching duels will be focused on who makes the least number of mistakes.
The Aztecs have won every series this season and don’t look to stop. Their offense is as hot as it’s ever been. Their starting pitching has finally found the elite level that it was hyped to be at. Nevada will have to bring their A-game all series to get some wins.
Evan is a student finishing up a degree in Finance from Northern Arizona University. The ability to break down numbers and find the story behind them has lead to his first of writing for East Village times. He covers baseball which is the sport he grew up playing and has followed even after his playing years.