SDSU Completes Sweep of Conference-Opening Series Against Brigham Young
March 15, 2008
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State came out swinging Sunday afternoon, scoring 11 times over the first three innings as it defeated Brigham Young, 13-6, in the finale of the teams' three-game Mountain West Conference-opening set. With the win, the Aztecs completed a sweep of the series against BYU, something it had not done since the 2002 campaign.
While improving its record to 10-7 overall, San Diego State moved to 3-0 in MWC play, only the second time it has opened its conference season with three straight wins since joining the league in 2000. The loss dropped Brigham Young to 7-10 on the season (0-3 MWC).
The Aztecs jumped in front quickly, putting three runs on the board in the opening frame when Nick Romero connected for his second homer of the season with teammates Brandon Glover and Troy Hanzawa on base. Romero added two more RBI in the second inning with a bases-loaded single that brought home Brandon Decker along with Glover.
In the third inning, San Diego State sent 10 men to the plate, adding six runs on four hits, two walks and a pair of Cougar errors. Freshman Cory Vaughn began the frame with a triple (scoring on a single by Erik Castro) and ended it with an RBI single on which he was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.
With an 11-0 lead, the Aztecs rode the pitching of senior right-hander J.R. Murphy, who had little trouble over the first five innings. Although he gave up a pair of runs in the sixth and left the contest after putting two on with one out in the seventh, Murphy pitched well enough to be credited with the win and improve to 2-1 on the year. Over his 6.1 innings, he gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking none and striking out six. He was relieved by fellow senior Shane Kaufman, who finished out the final 2.2 frames.
SDSU added its final two runs in response to the Cougars pair in the top of the sixth as Castro belted a two-run homer to right, driving home Vaughn (who had walked) ahead of him. That two-run shot came off Brigham Young reliever Justin Shutt, the fourth of what would eventually be six BYU hurlers on the afternoon. Starter Tyler Westensee, who allowed six runs in his two innings of work, was charged with the loss as he evened his season mark at 1-1.
Romero was the Aztecs' hitting star of the game, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a pair of runs scored and five RBI while Castro was 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in two. Other SDSU players with two hits included Vaughn (two runs scored) and Pat Colwell (one run scored).
Up next for San Diego State is a stretch of five games in six days beginning with a home contest against Southern Utah on Monday (March 17) at 6:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium.