Aztecs Rebound To Defeat Michigan, 4-1, At Tony Gwynn 2007 Classic
March 10, 2007
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State got another quality start from senior hurler Bruce Billings, and this time he received some offensive support as the Aztecs defeated Michigan, 4-1, in a contest played at PETCO Park as part of the Tonty Gwynn 2007 Classic Saturday evening. The victory moved SDSU's record to 12-9 on the year while the Wolverines lost for the second straight day to a San Diego school to fall to 5-4.
It was Billings' (1-0) fifth start of the season, but only the first in which he was involved in the decision. He went seven strong innings, allowing a single run on four hits while walking one and striking out four.
His counterpart, Michigan right-hander Zach Putnam, allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits with four strikeouts over his six innings of work, but it was enough for the Aztecs to hand him his first defeat of 2007 as his record dropped to 2-1.
San Diego State opened the scoring in the third on a leadoff double to left by Chris Anderson and an RBI single to right by Troy Hanzawa. It was Hanzawa's second hit of the night as the SDSU shortstop reached base in four of his five at bats with a walk and a hit by pitch later in the contest.
SDSU clung to its one-run advantage until the Wolverines broke through in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 1-1. A walk to Kevin Cislo and a single by Jason Christian put runners on first and third with one out. Nate Recknagel then grounded into a fielder's choice with Cislo coming home to knot the score.
The Aztecs wasted little time in regaining the lead, scoring once in the bottom of the same inning. Frank LoNigro reached first on a fielding error by UM first baseman Recknagel. With Brandon Decker pinch running, Brian Lucas was hit by pitch before Cameron Johnson singled to right to make it a 2-1 game.
SDSU added a pair of insurance markers in the eighth. Decker's leadoff walk was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Lucas. Johnson then singled to right and advanced to second on the throw home as Decker scored the Aztecs' third run of the contest. Johnson then stole third and scored two batters later on an RBI single by Garrett Green.
After Billings departed, junior Shane Kaufman came on to pitch a perfect eighth inning after which freshman Stephen Strasburg retired the side in order in the final frame to nail down the win. It was Strasburg's second save of the season.
Cameron Johnson was the hitting star for San Diego State, going 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and three stolen bases.