SDSU Aztecs vs UNLV Rebels baseball preview

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Credit: SDSU Athletics

Saturday, March 13 | 11 a.m. PT | Tony Gwynn Stadium

UNLV: Chase Maddux, RHP (1-0, 3.95 ERA, 13.2 IP)

SDSU: Michael Paredes, RHP (0-0, 3.18 ERA, 11.0 IP)

 

Saturday, March 13 | 2:30 p.m. PT | Tony Gwynn Stadium

UNLV: Bradley Spooner, RHP (0-0, 4.91 ERA, 7.1 IP)

SDSU: Troy Melton, RHP (2-0, 3.31 ERA, 16.1 IP)

 

Sunday, March 14 | 1 p.m. PT | Tony Gwynn Stadium

UNLV: Josh Sharman, LHP (0-1, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP)

SDSU: TBA

 

College Baseball Nation named the San Diego State Aztecs as the No. 23 best team in the NCAA.

Each game, it looks as though the team is getting better and better.

The pitching is making fewer mistakes, the batters are taking advantage of every opportunity. Aztecs’ outfielder Jaden Fein is one of the most dominant players in college baseball right now. Things are good on the Mesa.

Three key UNLV players to watch

Chase Maddux

The son of MLB Hall-of-Fame pitcher Greg Maddux will take the mound for the Runnin Rebels in Game 1. Last season, Maddux recorded a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched. So far this season, he has a 3.95 ERA for UNLV. The one shining stat for him is his .222 opponent’s batting average, which marks his career-high.

Brendan Brooks

After two years at UC Irvine, he is the big name transfer to UNLV. This season Brooks has taken his bat to another level. He has put up a 1.350 OPS in the young season. For perspective, his previous high was .713 in 2018. Brooks is also playing shortstop for the first time in his career. Right now, he is struggling to lock down the position defensively with a .900 fielding percentage.

Jack-Thomas Wold

Wold is the best batter for UNLV this season. He has a 1.312 OPS with no strikeouts on the season. Despite no strikeouts, he has only walked four times, so expect him to put the ball in play consistently. He mostly has been a DH but has played some right field this season as well.

Three keys to watch this series

Who will play third for SDSU?

Last week, we predicted that SDSU needs to limit the errors. SDSU had four errors accounting for six unearned runs. All four of those errors came from third base. Max Foxcroft and Cole Carrigg recorded two apiece. What makes this problem harder to solve is the lack of hitting production by either of them. In six games played, Foxcroth has a .540 OPS. In eight games, Carrigg has a .692 OPS. Carrigg has started for most of the season and has the inside track to keep the role, but Foxcroft can make a push for more innings.

Will Melton have the same level of success in the second game

Last Saturday, coach Mark Martinez opted to have Melton start the second game of the doubleheader. After a great performance, Melton is lined up for the second game again.

“We have been putting a lot on his shoulders. It also allows him to chart the game and get a feel for how he was going to start the Fresno State hitters,” Martinez said after Melton’s start last week.

Melton has received draft attention, and his start against Fresno State is exactly why. Maybe mapping out the offense in advance is helpful.

Can both teams limit their bullpen usage on Saturday?

These teams have very potent offenses, highlighted by SDSU’s 17-0 victory and UNLV’s 24-7 win earlier this year. If an offensive explosion happens in the doubleheader, both bullpens will be quickly drained. SDSU will be in trouble for their third game if their bullpen is strained. If the UNLV offense stays hot, then look to see how the SDSU bullpen responds.

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Evan Anderson on Twitter
Evan Anderson
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.

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Total Views: 118 ,
(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)
Evan Anderson on Twitter
Evan Anderson
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.