Thursday, March 28, 2013

This weekend: Aztecs at New Mexico

It may be too early, just six games into Mountain West Conference play, to call this a first-place showdown, but San Diego State's three-game series this weekend at New Mexico will give one of the teams a leg up on the rest of the conference.

Here's a look at the series:

SDSU RHP Michael Cederoth (1-3, 2.03) vs. New Mexico RHP A.J. Carman (1-0, 4.40), 2:05 p.m. (MT).

SDSU RHP Philip Walby (1-2, 3.12) vs. New Mexico RHP Sam Wolff (1-2, 4.91), 2:05 p.m. (MT).

SDSU RHP Ryan Doran (3-1, 3.28)  vs. New Mexico LHP Alex Estrella (0-0, 3.78), 1:05 p.m. (MT).

San Diego State (4-2, 12-12)
New Mexico (4-2, 11-12)
Nevada (3-3, 15-10)
Air Force (2-2, 8-15)
UNLV (2-4, 17-8)Fresno State (1-3, 5-16)

SDSU leads the all-time series against New Mexico 98-61, although the Lobos have won 18 of the past 25 games. New Mexico won five of six meetings last season.

SDSU starting pitchers Philip Walby and Michael Cederoth have limited opponents to .186 and .189 batting averages, respectively, and will be put to the test by the hard-hitting New Mexico lineup. Freshman third baseman Ty France has gone 9-for-26 (.346) during a seven-game hitting streak. ... First baseman Ryan Muno was welcomed back to the starting lineup last weekend against UNLV after missing a month with a broken right hand suffered during practice in the season's second week. Muno was 4-for-8 against the Rebels. ... Freshman closer Bubba Derby earned a save and a win in the two victories over UNLV. ... SDSU catcher Brad Haynal is expected to be out for one more week after suffering a hairline fracture in his hand two weeks ago at Fresno State. ... After the New Mexico series, the Aztecs return for a two-game, home-and-home series with UC Riverside. Monday the teams play at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Tuesday's game is at Riverside. SDSU then plays host to Nevada for a three-game conference series.

The Lobos were favorites in a preseason coaches poll to win the MWC championship. ... bring a .312 team batting average to the series. ... They are averaging 7.5 runs a game. ... National Player of the Year candidate 1B/3B D.J. Peterson (.392, 11 HR, 34 RBI) leads the way, along with C Mitch Garver (.389, 18 RBI, 8 SB) and OF Luke Campbell (.313, 20 RBI). ... The pitching staff isn't as accomplished, compiling a 4.99 ERA. The starters, listed above, have not been overwhelming. Josh Walker (2-0. 2.82, 3 SV) has been solid at the back end.

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