Aztecs Mount Two Late Rallies To Defeat No. 19 San Diego 9-5
Feb. 28, 2010
SAN DIEGO - After being held scoreless on two hits over the first six innings, San Diego State staged a dramatic late comeback to defeat 19th-ranked University of San Diego, 9-5, Sunday afternoon at USD's Cunningham Stadium. The victory gave SDSU a 2-1 advantage in this year's series with a possible makeup game of Saturday's rain out to be played later in the season.
The Aztecs, who opened their season with four losses to Oklahoma, have now won three of their last four including a pair against the nationally-ranked Toreros as they improved to 3-5 after Sunday's contest. USD, which won three of its first four contests to open its 2010 campaign, saw its record slip to 4-4.
Early in the game everything went smoothly for the home side. On the mound, junior right-hander Kyle Blair held the Aztec offense in check, allowing just a pair of singles while striking out 11 through six-plus innings. At the plate, Blair's teammates gave him a four-run lead as they got to Aztec starter Drew Leary for a pair of runs in both the third and fifth frames.
Leary, who would end up going four innings, allowed those four runs (three earned) on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out three. After USD put its first three men on board and scored once in the fifth, Ryan Wynveen came on in relief and retired two batters around a walk before giving way to senior Kegan Sharp. It was Sharp's pitching that kept SDSU in the game in the latter stages.
San Diego State finally got its offense going in the seventh against Blair as Chris Wilson and Josh Chasse walked. Mitch Blackburn then delivered a double to left center to bring Wilson home and send Chasse to third. That ended Blair's afternoon, but it wasn't the end of the Aztec outburst. Jomel Torres' single to center brought home Chasse with Blackburn holding at third. After Torres stole second, Brandon Meredith lashed a double down the right field line to tie the contest at 4-4.
Sharp, who had gotten the final out in bottom of the fifth, faced only nine hitters from the sixth through eighth innings. He was helped out when the lone runner he allowed (on a walk in the seventh) was cut down by catcher Matt Parker attempting to steal second. Sharp would go on to work a total of 3.2 innings, his longest outing as an Aztec. Although he did not finish the contest, his effort earned him a victory as he evened his record at 1-1.
In the deciding ninth inning, the Aztecs faced USD closer Matt Thompson, who had picked up the save in Friday's USD victory. With one out, Blackburn reached on a base hit and went to third on a single by Torres. Brandon Meredith then lofted a medium-depth fly ball down the right field line that looked to set up a possible play at the plate with Blackburn tagging at third. However, Torero right fielder Meador had the ball pop out of his glove for an error as the Aztecs took the lead. That play opened the flood gates as SDSU scored four more times (all unearned) with Jordan Van Hoosier getting an RBI walk, Blair Moore an RBI ground out and Chris Wilson a two-out two-RBI single to left.
The Toreros were able to collect a consolation run in the bottom of the ninth before Steven Moranda came on to get the final two outs and nail down the win for the Aztecs.
Blackburn and Torres finished with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI apiece to account for half of the team's hits and almost half of SDSU's runs. Meredith led the Aztecs with three runs batted in while Wilson collected a pair of RBI with his ninth-inning heroics.
San Diego State returns to action on Tuesday (March 2) when it heads north to take on UC Riverside at the Riverside Sports Complex at 6:00 p.m. (PT).