Aztecs Down UNLV, 5-2, to Even Weekend Series
March 22, 2014
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - San Diego State evened its weekend baseball series at UNLV with a 5-2 victory over the Rebels Saturday afternoon at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas. Along the way SDSU got some timely hitting and solid pitching efforts from its starter and closer en route to the win.
The result made it eight wins in their last nine contests for the Aztecs, who improved to 17-5 overall and 5-3 in the Mountain West. The Rebels, meanwhile, saw their record fall to 15-7 (8-3 MW).
Just as it did Friday evening, SDSU took the lead with a run in the top of the first inning. A two-out double to right by Ty France was cashed in with an RBI single from Seby Zavala to give the visitors a quick 1-0 advantage.
The Aztec made it 2-0 in the fourth with a two-out single by Brad Haynal, a passed ball that advanced him to second and a run-scoring single down the right field line by Steven Pallares to drive him home.
Two innings later Haynal was again involved as his two-run homer over the left field fence scored Spencer Thornton, who had been hit by pitch, ahead of him. That gave the Aztecs a 4-0 lead as starting hurler Bubba Derby kept the Rebels off the board over the opening five frames scattering three hits along the way.
UNLV did pull a run back in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of singles and a wild pitch, then added another in the seventh on three consecutive singles to make it a 4-2 game. With two on and two out in that inning, SDSU closer Michael Cederoth was called out of the pen and he recorded the third out to end the Rebel rally.
Derby's final line read 6.2 innings pitched with two runs allowed on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts. With the win he improved to 4-0.
The Aztecs added an insurance run in their half of the eighth inning when Tyler Adkison walked, stole second and scored when Pallares' grounder to third was thrown away for a two-base error.
Cederoth remained on the mound for SDSU and gave up back-to-back singles to open the Rebel half of the eighth. He settled down, however, and got a strikeout and double play to get out of the jam before retiring the side in the ninth after a two-out walk to preserve the victory. His effort earned him his league-leading eighth save of the season.
San Diego State and UNLV will conclude their three-game series on Sunday with a contest scheduled to get underway at 1:05 p.m.