Friday, March 1, 2013

This weekend: Seton Hall (0-5) at Aztecs (4-5)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — There may be a temptation to take Seton Hall lightly, given the Pirates' winless record to open the season. But two of the team's five losses came against one of the top-ranked teams in the nation — North Carolina — and the other three defeats were against a team — East Tennessee State — that is batting nearly .300 in the early going.

The Aztecs just put a five-game losing streak behind them with Wednesday's 7-4 win at Santa Clara, however, so they shouldn't exactly be looking past the Pirates — even if next week brings a four-game series at top-ranked Arkansas.

First things first. How about building a little momentum before heading into the heart of the SEC?

This week's schedule, probable pitching matchups and other items of interest:

Friday — Seton Hall  RHP Jon Prosinski (0-2, 6.00) vs. SDSU RHP Michael Cederoth (1-1, 2.45), 6 p.m.

Saturday — Seton Hall LHP Anthony Elia (0-0, 3.60) vs. SDSU RHP Philip Walby (0-1, 1.64), 1 p.m.

Sunday — Seton Hall TBA vs. SDSU RHP Ryan Doran (1-1, 3.97), 1 p.m.

Most of SDSU's offense has come from three players — catcher Brad Haynal (.351, 5 RBI), center fielder Greg Allen (.333, 5 RBI, 7 R) and second baseman Tim Zier (.263, 8 RBI). ... Senior first baseman John Spirk, given an opportunity after the injury to Ryan Muno (broken hand), has responded by going 5-for-14 (.357). ... Be nice to see SDSU get the running game going this weekend. The Aztecs have stolen just six bases (in 12 attempts) in nine games. ... Freshman Ty France earned the starting spot at third base with his defensive play, although France has four of the team's eight errors in the early going. His batting average has dipped to .194, but it's still early enough that three or four hits this weekend would give him a big boost. ... Word for the weekend: Relax.

Harding-throwing RHPs Michael Cederoth and Philip Walby put the Aztecs in position to win last week against Oregon State, but didn't receive any offensive support. Cederoth left after six innings trailing 2-1. Walby allowed one earned run against the Beavers over 7.2 innings, but took the tough loss in the 2-0 defeat. Senior RHP Ryan Doran pitched five shutout innings against Oregon State before tiring in the sixth, when he allowed three runs in what became a 5-0 loss. ... Senior RHP Ethan Miller picked up the win Wednesday against Santa Clara, pitching 4.1 innings of shutout relief.

— SDSU and Seton Hall have played just once, with the Aztecs losing 9-7 in a 1984 game at the Riverside Invitational.
— Seton Hall's Scott Kalamar (.333) and Chris Selden (.333) are the only players in the lineup batting  above .300. The Pirates' overall team batting average is .210.
— One difference between West Coast baseball compared to other areas of the country is the parks out west tend to play bigger in the west. This may explain why in SDSU's first nine games there has been just one home run (by Santa Clara) while Seton Hall's first five games have seen a total of 11 homers (three by the Pirates). 
— The first 500 fans at Friday's game will receive a Tony Gwynn Jr. replica jersey shirt.

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