Baseball Preview: San Diego State

Cal State Fullerton (7-2) is coming off two consecutive wins over the Arizona Wildcats and will now travel to San Diego State in their first mid-week game of 2007. The Titans and Aztecs square off at Tony Gywnn Stadium on Tuesday at 6:00 PM.

After winning their third straight series to start the season with a 7-2 record, Fullerton travels down the freeway to play San Diego State at the ballpark named after their coach, Tony Gwynn.

Fullerton got outstanding pitching in winning 2 out of 3 from Arizona and showed some toughness in winning the final two games 9-0 and 9-2 after losing a 2-1 pitchers duel on Friday. San Diego State is off to a 6-4 start and is coming off a series loss to USC over the weekend, although the Aztecs did build some momentum by winning the final game of the series 12-11, scoring a run in the bottom of the 9th for the win.

San Diego State hasn't hit much this year, with a team average of only .261 with 3 HR's. Despite the low batting average and power numbers, the Aztecs have been pretty efficient at scoring runs (59 runs in 10 games) by averaging 4.5 walks per game and stealing 20 bases to manufacture runs so the Fullerton pitchers are going to have to work on holding the Aztec runners. San Diego State only has one LH hitter (Brandon Glover) and one switch hitter (Nick Romero) so most of the pitchers getting work in the game for the Titans figure to be RHP's. The Aztecs have been relying on a large number of JC and D1 transfers with only three regulars in their lineup who were on the team last year.

San Diego State's pitching has been much better this year with a team ERA of 4.34 after having an ugly 6.72 ERA last year. The Aztecs have pitched well against the WCC teams on their schedule, allowing 13 runs in those 4 games, but have struggled against Cal Poly and USC, allowing 43 runs in those 6 games. The midweek starter for the Aztecs is RHP Steven Hirschfeld, who allowed 4 R's (2 ER's) on 5 H's in 5 IP at Cal Poly and 5 R's (2 ER's) on 7 H's in 4 IP in a midweek start last week against LMU. San Diego State has already used 13 pitchers this year so they will be able to throw quite a few pitchers out there who have already made several appearances. The Aztecs have two LHP's in their bullpen, Brandon Pullen and Nate Solow.

As most midweek games are, this one figures to be pretty high scoring. Fullerton holds a 3-1 edge (all midweek games) over the past two seasons against San Diego State, with the winner averaging 10 runs per game in the four games. The Aztecs won the most recent game between the two teams last May and are 5-1 at home, two things the Fullerton coaches will very likely be reminding the team about. Fullerton has scored at least nine runs in 6 of 9 games, including 5 of 6 games on Sats and Suns (against #2 and #3 SP's). The Titans should be able to score a good amount of runs against the Aztecs and if the middle relievers who are getting their opportunity to pitch come through on Tuesday night, Fullerton should be able to come home with a win.