Aztecs Open Weekend Baseball Series With 11-5 Win At TCU
March 27, 2009
FORT WORTH, Texas - On a cold and windy night, San Diego State used six doubles and three home runs plus another standout pitching effort from Stephen Strasburg to defeat 16th-ranked TCU, 11-5, Friday evening at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. The win was the fourth straight for the Aztecs as they improved to 17-8 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West Conference.
With the temperature hovering in the mid-40s and a stiff breeze blowing out to left field at game time, SDSU took a quick lead in the opening inning as catcher Erik Castro hit a three-run homer to center with Brandon Decker and Brandon Meredith on base.
Castro, who had four hits on the night including a pair of doubles along with a single and the homer, continues to be one of the hottest hitters in the MWC. He has now gone 19-for-27 with eight doubles, two homers, nine runs scored and 15 RBI over SDSU's last seven contests. However, he was only one of the Aztecs' hitting stars in a game that saw every starter collect at least one hit and eight of the nine drive in one or more runs.
TCU (14-8, 2-2 MWC) got right back into the game in the bottom of the first as leadoff hitter Ben Carruthers hit a wind-aided homer to left off Strasburg to cut the score to 3-1. But after that hit, the Horned Frogs would only tally two more over Strasburg's eight innings of work. In fact, the Aztec junior right-hander retired the next 14 consecutive batters before giving up a two-out single in the fifth. He would go on to claim the win and improve to 5-0 in 2009.
SDSU, meanwhile, slowly built upon its lead as it scored in every inning from the fourth through the eighth. A run in the fourth came on a fielder's choice sac bunt on which Mitch Blackburn came home after leading off the frame with a double. Cory Vaughn added a pair of RBI with a two-run blast in the fifth that didn't need the wind as it cleared the trees beyond the left field fence.
RBI by Meredith and Brandon Decker in the fifth and sixth innings respectively made it an 8-2 contest as the home side tallied a run in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Matt Curry and a pair of ground outs to second base.
SDSU's first seven runs of the game were charged to Horned Frog starter Tyler Lockwood, who took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season.
The Aztecs added their final three runs in the eighth as freshman Chris Wilson connected for his first home run of the year, a solo shot with one out. A single by Vaughn and double by Blackburn were cashed in on RBI by Easton Gust and Ryan O'Sullivan.
With Strasburg departing after eight innings, TCU scored three consolation runs in the bottom of the ninth before reliever James McLaughlin came on to get the final out and secure the victory.
Blackburn finished the evening with three hits including a pair of doubles and scored twice. Three others including Wilson, Vaughn and O'Sullivan tallied two hits apiece as the Aztecs scored 11 runs for the third time in their last four outings.
San Diego State and TCU will continue their weekend series on Saturday (March 28) with a contest slated for a 4:00 p.m. (CT) start.