Aztecs Rally to Defeat UC Riverside 8-7
Feb. 25, 2014
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - San Diego State overcame a six-run deficit with seven runs over the final three innings including two in the ninth to defeat UC Riverside, 8-7, Tuesday night at the Riverside Sports Complex. The win was the third straight for the Aztecs who improved to 6-2.
Freshman left-hander Brett Seeburger retired the side in order in the bottom of the opening frame, but was unable to get through the second. The Highlanders touched him up for five hits including a pair of doubles and a triple along with a walk to score five runs and take a 5-1 lead.
UCR (3-5) added two more runs in its half of the fifth to take a 7-1 lead. On the mound Highlander senior Zach Varela settled in and threw five shutout innings after giving up the run in the first.
The Aztec offense finally came to life in the top of the seventh as it got to Varela for three runs on three hits, a walk and a fielder's choice. Greg Allen, Tim Zier and Ryan Muno drove in a run apiece in the frame as SDSU closed the gap to 7-4.
San Diego State made it a one-run contest in the next inning as it tallied two runs on four hits including RBI singles by CJ Saylor and Allen to make it 7-6.
SDSU used six pitchers on the night and it was redshirt freshman Cody Thomson who kept the Highlanders off the board in the seventh and eighth to allow his steam the chance to make up ground. He would eventually be credited with the victory, his first as an Aztec, to improve to 1-0 on the season.
In the top of the ninth, Ryan Muno led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Andrew Brown, who stole second to put the tying run in scoring position. A line out to short kept him there before an infield ground out moved him to third with two out. Ty France then hit a double over the center fielder's head to bring home Brown with the tying run.
Tanner Reibenspies followed up with a hard grounder to the right of the shortstop, who got a glove on it but couldn't prevent it from going into left field. France scored on the hit to make it 8-7 and suddenly SDSU had its first lead of the game since the second inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, closer Michael Cederoth was brought in by the Aztecs to finish out the game. After giving up a single to the leadoff hitter, he got the ensuing batter on a sacrifice bunt and then recorded a pair of strikeouts to secure the victory and notch his second save of the season.
The comeback win was a true team effort by the Aztecs with six different players recording an RBI and eight players scoring a run. Tim Zier led the offense with four hits including a double, RBI and run scored while catcher CJ Saylor had three hits with an RBI and run scored as well.
The Aztecs will next travel north this weekend for a four-game series against St. Mary's in Moraga, Calif. The first contest is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gaels' Louis Guisto Field.