San Diego State’s baseball team was picked to finish third in the Mountain West preseason poll, days ahead of their season opener in Phoenix.
In addition, Aztec outfielder Cole Carrigg earned a spot on the preseason all-MW team, as voted on by the league’s seven head coaches.
SDSU received a total of 25 points, trailing preseason favorite UNLV (33 pts), which received four first-place votes, and second-place San José State (27 pts), which netted another pair of first-place votes.
San Diego State opens its 2023 campaign Friday when it travels to the Valley of the Sun for a three-game series against Arizona State.
It could be a bounce-back year for the Aztecs if they meet preseason expectations, as they tied for last place with New Mexico in the MW last season. Both teams had 10-20 league records, but SDSU finished 20 games under .500 overall, at 18-38.
Their brightest light in 2022, Carrigg, received first-team all-MW recognition after leading SDSU in numerous categories. He hit .388 – also good for third in the conference – and topped the team in hits (83), doubles (15), total bases (109), RBIs (40) and stolen bases (19).
As a sophomore, Carrigg finished among MW leaders last season in steals (2nd, 19), sacrifice bunts (T-4th, 5) and hits (T-8th, 83).
The Turlock native also played in 41 games for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League last summer, earning a spot in the league’s All-Star Game.
Earlier this week, Carrigg was named MW Preseason Player of the Year by D1Baseball.com in its conference preview, while pitcher Xavier Cardenas III was selected as the league’s Preseason Freshman of the Year.
Along with Carrigg, the Aztecs return five other starters from last season, including Poncho Ruiz, ranked 24th among the nation’s catchers in D1Baseball.com’s ratings.
The Aztecs’ 2023 roster features 15 newcomers, including 13 true freshmen and a community college transfer, Xavier Gonzalez, an infielder from Southwestern College in Chula Vista.
The Aztecs host their home opener on Feb. 21, against CSUN at Tony Gwynn Stadium.