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Aztecs Rally In Final Inning To Upset 11th-Ranked TCU 3-1

Matt Parker had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning in the win over TCU on Saturday.
Matt Parker had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning in the win over TCU on Saturday.

April 3, 2010

Box Score

FORT WORTH, Texas - Matt Parker's two-out bases-loaded single in the top of the ninth propelled San Diego State to a 3-1 win over 11th-ranked TCU Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. With the victory the Aztecs improve to 11-17 on the season overall and 1-5 in the Mountain West Conference. The loss was just the sixth of the year for the Horned Frogs (20-6) as they dropped to 5-3 in league play.

For the third day in a row the Aztecs opened the scoring with a run in the first inning. Mitch Blackburn led off the game with a single and was sacrificed to second by Jordan Van Hoosier. Cory Vaughn then hit a single through the right side to bring home Blackburn and stake SDSU to the 1-0 lead.

San Diego State freshman Ethan Miller, making just his second start, held TCU scoreless over the first seven innings despite allowing at least one hit in each frame except the seventh. Seven of the eight singles he allowed over those innings came with two outs. It was a fine performance from the first-year right-hander who left the game after the seventh having allowed eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

At that point the Aztecs brought on sophomore John Pecoraro, whose third pitch was hit through the right side by Josh Elander for a single. Pinch hitter Jimmie Pharr's sacrifice bunt moved Elander to second and he scored on Brance Rivera's two-out single to center to tie the game at 1-1 at the end of eight.

Meanwhile, after giving up the run in the opening inning, Horned Frog starting pitcher Steven Maxwell allowed just two hits over the ensuing seven innings. He also gave up a pair of walks and hit one batter during that span, but only one Aztec runner advanced as far as second base. With one out in the ninth, Maxwell gave way to closer Caleb Merck.

Merck allowed a single to Blair Moore, who went to second on a wild pitch. After Jomel Torres flied out to right, TCU brought Erik Miller out of the pen and he walked Chris Wilson and Guy Willeford to load the bases. That brought another pitching change by the Horned Frogs with Tent Appleby taking over on the mound. Appleby was greeted by the single to left by Matt Parker that scored two runs to give the Aztecs the 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, TCU loaded the bases with one out on a single, hit batter and a walk before Pecoraro struck out Zac Jordan looking and got Jimmie Pharr to foul out to first base. The effort allowed the Aztec closer to even his season record at 1-1. TCU closer Caleb Merck was charged with the loss to fall to 1-1.

Blair Moore was the lone Aztec to collect more than one hit on the afternoon with a pair of singles. After outhitting the Frogs in each of the first two games of the series but coming up winless, SDSU had only six hits to TCU's 11 but came up the winner at the end of the day.

San Diego State will now take a break from Mountain West Conference action as it visits 21st-ranked UC Irvine on Tuesday, April 6, for a 6:00 p.m. (PT) contest.