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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Gators look forward to chomping up the competition

SFSU baseball team starts the season with a 6-4 record
Sean Young
Members of the San Francisco State University baseball team high-five infielder Jacob French (right) after the first inning against Cal State San Bernardino Maloney Field on Friday. (Sean Young / Golden Gate Xpress)

The San Francisco State University baseball team has high hopes going into the rest of the season, with the Gators taking series wins over Montana State University Billings and Western Oregon.

“We feel good —  I kind of felt like we won both series; the second homestand, we played two different opponents, but when you win two out of three in both homestands, that’s kind of our goal every weekend, is [to] win a series,” said head coach Tony Schifano. “I was really happy with the comeback on Sunday; they showed a lot of resilience and fight — that’s something they can hold on to later in the season and go back to, and hopefully use it in our advantage.”

With 20 new players joining the team, they are still in the feeling-out process and are trying to see where the team is in different game scenarios in the very early stages of the season, according to Schifano.

Even though the team celebrated its comeback win against Western Oregon, Schifano said he would like to have better starts so the team does not fall behind early. With a 4-2 start to their season, the Gators went on their first road trip to Azusa Pacific. The Gators played four games against the Cougars and split the series.

“I think it’s huge to play well together on the road; it does a lot for regional rankings — a win on the road means a lot more than a win at home,” Redshirt senior outfielder Cole Thompson said. “I think playing on the road is huge, so that was a good experience this weekend too; [we competed] against a really good team and came out of there with two wins.”

The team’s next road trip begins March 1 in Chico against Chico State. Redshirt senior infielder Justin Johnson sees this as another opportunity for growth for the team on and off the field. 

“The road trip feels great — it’s a great time to connect with the team;  you get freshman karaoke, you get to have good experiences on the bus, staying in hotels,” Johnson said. “You’re a lot closer and you get a roommate, so it’s really cool just hanging out with the team on the road.” 

Road trips early in the season help to motivate the team before they start their conference play, according to Johnson. 

“Going on the road in conference is a different beast, so it’s definitely good to get that experience playing, especially against a good team like Azusa,” Johnson said. “And going on the road, having to deal with the fans —  it gets us ready for the season.” 

Schifano believes that one of the strengths of SFSU’s team is the depth it has on the roster. With games three to four days in a row, Thompson said it is important for the focus to be there for the team and for everybody to push each other every day. 

“Friday, everyone’s locked in at the beginning of the series. That’s when your body feels the best; by the time you get to Sunday, people are tired. You haven’t really slept too much over the weekend because you’re playing so much,” Thompson said. “That Sunday game is more [about]  what team wants it more, but as a team, I think we do a really good  job of keeping each other accountable and pushing each other to get the best out of each other every single day.”

Johnson agreed with Schifano on how crucial it is for a team to have multiple players who can get the job done when their name is called upon. 

“Having a deep lineup, I can rely on any guy to go up there and get a job done; it does not matter who is up there, I feel confident in every person on our team to do [the] job,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty important to have a deep lineup, especially when you play four games a week and you are playing 40-50 innings a week; you are going to need guys to step up.”

Unity has been a common theme for the Gators baseball team. Coach Schifano believes the team has the talent to win the championship, but discipline and focus will be key to achieving its desired victory. 

“Our expectations are to win a conference championship and go to the regional [competition]; that’s our goal every year —  be on the regionals, obviously supers and the College World Series,” Schifano said.

The Gators will take on no. 11-ranked Cal State San Bernardino in a four-game series at home on Feb. 23-25, with a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb 24.

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About the Contributors
Arman Archouniani
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Sean Young
Sean Young, Campus Editor
Sean Young (he/him) is the campus editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is a journalism major with a minor in California Studies. Originally from the small town of Sebastopol, Sean now lives in San Francisco. Before transferring to SF State, Sean studied journalism at Santa Rosa Junior College, where he was editor-in-chief of the college's student publication The Oak Leaf News. In his spare time, Sean can be found watching sports, listening to his vinyl record collection and reading the latest news from The New York Times.

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    trevorFeb 26, 2024 at 11:26 am

    incredible headline