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New Mexico Completes Sweep Of SDSU With 5-4 Win

Brandon Decker had a pair of singles in Sunday's contest at New Mexico.
Brandon Decker had a pair of singles in Sunday's contest at New Mexico.

March 28, 2010

Box Score

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - For the second straight day, New Mexico came from behind as it defeated San Diego State, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque. With the victory, the Lobos improve to 16-9 on the season and 4-2 in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs, who suffered their fourth straight defeat, fell to 9-14 (0-3 MWC).

San Diego State opened the scoring with three runs in the top of the third as singles by Brandon Decker and Mitch Blackburn plus a walk to Jomel Torres were followed by a two-run single to left by Brandon Meredith. A walk to Cory Vaughn sent Torres to third and he scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Ryan O'Sullivan.

New Mexico answered one inning later with a solo home run by Justin Howard to dead center field that came under controversial circumstances. The Aztecs claimed the ball did not leave the field, but rather hit the fence on the fly and got stuck as Cory Vaughn returned the ball to the infield. The umpires conferred, however, and it was ruled a homer.

The Lobos knotted the score at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the fifth. Max Willett and John Twichell singled to open the inning and advanced to second and third respectively on a sacrifice bunt. Willet then scored on a ground out to short and Twichell came home on a wild pitch.

UNM took the lead in the next frame as Aztec starter Ethan Miller issued a pair of one-out walks to Rafael Neda and Ryan Honeycutt before being lifted in favor of Ryan Wynveen. The Aztec junior left-hander was greeted by a single to left by Cameron Smith with Neda scoring when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. A sacrifice fly to center brought home Honeycutt as the Lobos took a 5-3 lead.

Those two runs (one earned) were charged to Miller who took the loss in his first decision of the season. The Aztec freshman, who was making his first career start after having tossed just one inning previously this season, went 5.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

New Mexico starter Bobby Mares, meanwhile, had settled down after allowing the three runs in the third as he retired 10 straight batters through the end of the sixth inning. But he found himself in a jam in the seventh when Chris Wilson reached on an error to open the frame and went to second on a walk to Matt Nadolski. A sacrifice bunt by Brandon Decker moved both runners over and spelled the end of the day for Mares.

The Lobos called Kenny Toves out of the bullpen and the lefty retired the next two batters to end the threat. Toves, however, gave up a solo home run to Cory Vaughn in the eighth and after walking pinch hitter Albert Alvarez to lead off the ninth was replaced by Lobo closer Gera Sanchez.

Sanchez immediately picked Alvarez off first and after a single by Brandon Decker induced Mitch Blackburn to ground into a double play to end the game. Mares was credited with the victory to improve to 2-0 while Sanchez picked up his fifth save of the season and second of the weekend series.

For SDSU, Brandon Meredith Brandon Decker both finished the afternoon with a pair of singles to account for four of their team's hits on the day. Vaughn's home was his fourth of the year and second in three days.

The Aztecs now return home for a brief two-game home stand against Stony Brook that begins tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium.