Aztecs Hang On To Defeat Air Force, 5-4, For Series Sweep
March 21, 2004
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State scored three times in the sixth to break a 1-1 deadlock and then held on to defeat Air Force, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. With the series sweep of the Falcons, SDSU recorded its first three-game win streak of the season as it improved to 13-17 overall and 3-0 in Mountain West Conference play. Air Force, which lost for the 12th time in its last 13 outings, fell to 5-17 (0-3 MWC).
San Diego State took a 1-0 lead in the third on a RBI single by James Guerrero that scored Landon Burt, who had singled to open the inning and stolen second. Burt finished the afternoon with three hits, three stolen bases and a pair of runs scored. However, the Falcons came back to tie the game with a single marker in the next inning on a run-scoring single by shortstop Geno Salazar off Aztec starter Chris Hartshorn.
Some clutch Aztec pitching in the top of the sixth prevented the visitors from taking their first lead of the weekend series. With runners on first and third and one out, reliever Ben Coon struck out catcher Jon Polston and second baseman Colton Walter to get out of the jam.
The Aztec's three-run rally in the sixth started with a one-out single by Guerrero, who scored on a two-out triple by designated hitter Brock Ungricht. Jake McLintock brought Ungricht home with a single, and after a walk to Josh Hill, Chad Corona's single to left drove in the third run. Those three runs came off Air Force reliever Mitch Brown, who took the loss and saw his record drop to 0-2.
After Air Force closed to 4-2 with a run in the seventh, SDSU answered back with a run in the bottom of the inning on Rielly Embrey's sacrifice fly to center that scored Burt from third.
The Falcons refused to give up, and came back with a pair of runs in the eighth before some more clutch pitching helped preserve the Aztecs' one-run lead. Trailing 5-4 in that inning, Air Force had runners on second and third with no outs when SDSU called reliever Drew Jenson. The senior lefty retired the next three hitters on a ground out to third, strikeout, and another grounder to third to end the threat.
Senior closer Ryan Schroyer came on in the ninth and recorded a pair of strikeouts before Geno Salazar reached on a bad-hop single that bounded over SDSU second baseman Lance Zawadzki. An error on an attempted pickoff moved Salazar to third before Schroyer struck out catcher Jon Polston to end the game and record his fifth save.
Ben Coon, who gave up a run on four hits while striking out there over two innings of work, picked up his second victory in two days to improve to 3-0 on the season.
San Diego State continues Mountain West Conference play next weekend when it travels to Albuquerque to face New Mexico in a three-game series. The first contest of that set is slated for Friday (March 26) at 6:00 p.m. (MST) at Isotopes Stadium.
San Diego State 5, Air Force 4 AFA 000 100 120 - 4 13 0 SDS 001 003 10x - 5 10 2 Couch, M. Brown (4), Edwards (7) and Polston Hartshorn, Coon (6), Zink (8), Jenson (8), Schroyer (9) and Swaydan W - Coon (3-0) L - M. Brown (0-2) Sv - Schroyer (5) HR - None Att. - 521 Time - 2:55