Rally In Ninth Gives Aztecs 3-1 Win Over 49ers
March 6, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Tim Zier's two-out bases-loaded single in the top of the ninth brought home the winning runs as San Diego State defeated Long Beach State, 3-1, Tuesday night at Blair Field in Long Beach. It marked the sixth time this season that the Aztecs have won in their final at bat.
The win was the fifth straight for SDSU, which improved to 8-6. The 49ers, meanwhile, saw their record drop to 4-8.
Long Beach opened the contest by manufacturing a run in the opening inning. Leadoff man Brennan Metzger reached on a bunt single and promptly stole second. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Ino Patron.
LBSU starting pitcher Matt Johnson sailed through the first three innings, retiring the first nine Aztecs he faced before Dillon Bryant led off the top of the fourth with a single to center. Bryant advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cody Slader after which a two-out double to right by Jake Romanski brought him home to tie the game at 1-1.
After giving up the first inning run, San Diego State starting pitcher Ryan Doran settled in and was stellar the rest of the evening. The junior right-hander would go seven innings, allowing the one run on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Three of the five hits he allowed were of the infield variety including a pair of bunt singles. Doran departed with the score tied and was not involved in the final decision.
San Diego State's ninth inning rally began with a one-out single to right by Jake Romanski. That hit came against 49er reliever Kyle Friedrichs, the fourth pitcher of the evening for Long Beach State. After a fly out, Greg Allen dumped a single into right field that sent Romanski to third.
Landon Hunt then came in from the bullpen to face Jomel Torres, but the 49er lefty promptly walked the Aztec first baseman on four pitches to load the bases. LBSU then called Josh Frye to the mound to face Zier, who hit a 3-1 pitch up the middle to score Romanski and Allen to give the Aztecs their first lead of the night at 3-1.
Justin Hepner, who had come on in relief of Doran to start the eighth, opened the bottom of the ninth by surrendering a leadoff walk. After a fly out, an Aztec error put runners at first and second. Hepner (1-0) then got a strikeout and fly ball to left to end the contest and record his first victory.
San Diego now returns home for a three-game series against St. Mary's that gets underway with a contest on Friday, March 9, at 6:00 p.m. (PT) at Tony Gwynn Stadium.