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Corvallis Regional Team Preview: San Diego State Aztecs

San Diego State makes their first trip to Corvallis, as the three seed.

San Diego State Aztecs

  • Regular Season: 39-29 (18-12 conference)
  • Head Coach: Mark Martinez
  • Best Batter: Chase Calabuig (.359 BA)
  • Best Fielder: Jordan Verdon (518 PO)
  • Best Pitcher: Garrett Hill (3.58 ERA)

The Skinny

San Diego State has been the class of the Mountain West for the past few seasons. With their victory in the Mountain West tournament over UNLV, they’ve now won the conference in five of the last six seasons. They’ve yet to get past the regional stage, but last year they did manage to knock UCLA out of the tournament, which is an achievement we Beaver fans can always appreciate.

Casey Schmitt showing off that San Diego style

This season, the Aztecs have been very strong in conference play and even managed to split a series with Arizona earlier in the year. SDSU also managed to crack a few of the top 25 rankings earlier in the year. A series loss to Nevada late in the season looked like it may have been trouble, as Nevada was the Mountain West’s strongest team this season, but the Wolfpack was swiftly eliminated after two games in the conference tournament, clearing the way for the Aztecs to defeat UNLV in the final.

Jacob Erickson has been a deadly closer for the Aztecs

San Diego State’s pitching has been their strength this season. Garrett Hill has been the team’s most dangerous starter, with a 3.58 ERA and a 7-2 record. The Aztecs also have an excellent closer in Jacob Erickson, with a 3.15 ERA. Erickson poses an interesting question for the teams the Aztecs will face. Hill will likely get the start against LSU, SDSU’s first opponent. The Aztecs have used Harrison Pyatt, with a 4.44 ERA and a 4-4 record, as their second starter, and that’s likely to continue in the postseason.

They may need that third starter though. Jorge Fernandez (4.65 ERA, 6-3) got the start in the game that decided the conference tournament. Justin Goossen-Brown (3.63 ERA, 5-3) has also been solid as a starter. Erickson has started 4 games though, and could present an interesting option. If the Aztecs hold him out against LSU, that may be the reason why.

Dean Navarez, Chase Calabuig, and Casey Schmitt

The Aztecs also have a few strong batters, particularly outfielder Chase Calabuig and first baseman Jordan Verdon. Calabuig leads the team in hits (85) and OB% (.426), while Verdon is the team’s premier slugger, with 12 home runs and a .620 slugging percentage.

San Diego State has found a lot of success in the Mountain West, but hasn’t yet found a way to turn those achievements into wins in the NCAA Tournament. Doing that this year, against programs with the national level of success of Oregon State and LSU, is an incredibly tall order.

Number to Know: (3.88)

SDSU’s team ERA was the best in the Mountain West Conference. From starters to relief, it’s a tough team to score on.

History Against Oregon State

The team’s have played each other quite a few times, as the Beavers usually schedule a few series against Mountain West opponents each season. All time, the Beavers lead 12-7-1. Most recently, the team’s split a pair of games back in the 2016 season. Oregon State won one game 9-6, San Diego State won the other 6-5.