Baseball Defeats New Mexico 7-4 In MWC Opener
March 18, 2011
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State put together a four-run fifth inning to break open a tie game as it went on to defeat New Mexico, 7-4, Friday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium. With the win, SDSU improved to 4-14 on the year while UNM dropped to 3-14 in what was the 2011 Mountain West Conference opener for both teams.
Both Gera Sanchez and Ethan Miller, the starting hurlers for the Lobos and Aztec respectively, gave the early impression that the contest would be a pitchers' dual. Sanchez retired the first six hitters he faced, four via the strikeout. Miller, meanwhile, had three strikeouts over the first two frames allowing just a two-out single in the second.
Both offenses began to come into play in the third as the visitors scored a run in the top of the inning on a single by Ben Woodchick, a balk and an RBI base hit up the middle by Kyle Stiner.
San Diego State answered in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs that scored on an RBI bunt single by Tim Zier and a balk by Sanchez. The hit by Zier was the first of his three on the night as he would also finish with a pair of runs batted in and a run scored.
The Lobos didn't want long to re-take the lead, scoring twice in the top of the fourth with the help of an Aztec error, an RBI double by Jacob Nelson and a run-scoring single to left by Quay Grant.
UNM's 3-2 lead was short-lived, however, as Chris Wilson tied the game at three-all with one swing of his bat in the bottom of the fourth, driving his second home run of the season over the left field wall.
The Aztecs then struck for four runs in their half of the fifth on five hits and a Lobo error. With one out, Jared Hunt double to right and scored on Zier's single down the left field line. Cody Smith then smacked a ball down the right field line that went for a triple and brought Zier home.
That ended Sanchez's night as he would depart after 4.1 innings. He would eventually be charged with six runs (five earned) on seven hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. The loss dropped his record to 1-3.
Lobo reliever Alexis Garza fared little better upon entering the contest as Brandon Meredith greet him with a single that allowed Smith to score from third. Jomel Torres then finished off the scoring with a double to right center to bring home Meredith and give SDSU a 7-3 lead.
New Mexico answered with a run in the sixth off Miller, but that would mark the end of their scoring for the evening. Miller left the game after six innings pitched as he allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. With the win he evened his record at 2-2.
Senior Steven Moranda tossed the final three innings retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. The lone Lobo to reach base against him was Woodchick, who was hit by pitch with two out in the eighth. to pick up his first save. The save was Moranda's first of the season.
The Lobos and Aztecs will continue their three-game series on Saturday, March 19, with a contest scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start at Tony Gwynn Stadium. That game has been moved up from its original time of 6:00 p.m. in order to avoid the rains predicted to hit the area Saturday evening.