Aztecs Defeat North Carolina State, 8-6, With Late Rally
March 7, 2004
SAN DIEGO - Lance Zawadzki's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth drove in the winning runs and spoiled a North Carolina comeback as the Aztecs defeated the Wolfpack, 8-6, Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Zawadzki's heroics came after the visitors had tied the contest with a pair of runs in the top of the inning after they had trailed since the early going.
The win was the second straight for the Aztecs over the 22nd-ranked Wolfpack as they improved to 9-14 on the season. NC State fell to 10-02 on the year after dropping two of three to SDSU over the weekend.
After giving a run in the first to open the game, San Diego State took the lead with three of their own in the bottom of the first. James Guerrero's double down the right field line scored Landon Burt (who had walked to open the inning) from first. After a Rielly Embrey single, Guerrero came home on a base hit by catcher Brock Ungricht. The third run came when Embrey score on a sacrifice fly to left by Josh Hill.
The Wolfpack closed to within a run with a single marker in the top of the second, but SDSU answered back in the bottom of the frame with Guerrero bringing home Burt with an RBI single.
Another NC state run in the third was countered by a pair of Aztec runs in the bottom of that inning courtesy of Hill's two-run homer to right, his first round-tripper of the season as the home side extended its lead to 6-3.
After the Wolfpack scored a single run in the fourth to make it 6-4, the pitchers took over for the next few innings. For North Carolina State, Nate Cretarolo allowed just two hits while striking out five in four innings of relief work after taking over for starter Gib Hobson in the fourth.
San Diego State, meanwhile, called on senior Drew Jenson to keep the Wolfpack in check, and he did so for four innings after coming on in relief of Aztec starter Chris Hartshorn in the fourth. However, Jenson and the Aztecs ran into trouble in the eighth as the Wolfpack scored twice with two outs to knot the score at 6-6.
The Aztecs then staged a rally of their own in bottom of that inning. A single by Jake McLintock, walk to Ryan Wilson, and single by Burt loaded the bases with one out. That brought up Zawadzki who greeted Wolfpack reliever Daniel Caldwell with a hit up the middle that brought in two runs to make it an 8-6 game.
Senior Ryan Schroyer, who had come on to get the final out in the eighth, tossed a perfect ninth inning to pick up the win and even his record at 2-2. NCSU's Collin Brown, who began the bottom of the eighth on the mound for the visitors, took the loss to fall to 1-1.
Up next for San Diego State is a contest against Houston on Thursday, March 11, which will kick off the Aztec Invitational at PETCO Park. That game, slated for a 7:00 p.m. start, is the first of 10 contests to be played at the new home of the San Diego Padres over the ensuing three days.
San Diego State 8, North Carolina State 6 NCSU 111 100 020 - 6 12 0 SDSU 312 000 02x - 8 13 3 Hobson, Cretarolo (4), Brown (8), Caldwell (8) and Muyco Hartshorn, Jenson (4), Schroyer (8) and Ungricht W - Schroyer (2-2) L - Brown (1-1) Sv - None HR - NCSU: Hick (3rd-none on), Camp (4th-none on) SDSU: Hill (3rd-one on) Att. - 642 Time - 2:46