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Aztecs Take Opener Of UNLV Series 12-6

Ethan Miller allowed no hits in 3.1 shutout innings of relief while striking out five to record the win over UNLV Thursday night.
Ethan Miller allowed no hits in 3.1 shutout innings of relief while striking out five to record the win over UNLV Thursday night.

April 5, 2012

Box Score

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - San Diego State scored six runs over the final three innings to break a 6-6 deadlock and junior right-hander Ethan Miller shut out UNLV over that same period as the Aztecs claimed a 12-6 victory in game one of their three-game series with the Rebels Thursday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas.

The win was the fifth in its last six contests for SDSU, which improved to 15-15 overall and 4-3 in the Mountain West. UNLV, meanwhile, saw its record drop to 14-16 (2-8 MW).

Aztec freshman pitcher Michael Cederoth was stellar over the first three innings, but for the sixth time in his last six starts he would not be involved in the decision. Cederoth would go 5.1 innings allowing four runs on four hits with a career-high nine strikeouts, but intermittent control problems saw him surrender six walks and hit three batters, all of which contributed to his ultimate removal from the contest.

After San Diego State scored unearned runs in both the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, UNLV countered with single runs in the fourth and fifth to tie the game at 2-2.

The Aztecs appeared to take control of the contest in their half of the sixth, scoring four times on six hits. Ryan Muno began the scoring with a solo home run off Rebel starter Buddy Borden, who after giving up a one-out single to John Spirk was lifted in favor of Joe Robinson.

Robinson promptly gave up four straight hits including RBI singles by Greg Allen and Tim Zier plus a run-scoring double by Chris Wilson. At that point Jack Beresford was called out of the UNLV bullpen and he recorded a pair or strikeouts to extinguish the threat.

The home side wasted little time in getting right back into the game as it put four runs of its own on the board in the bottom of the same inning to knot the score at 6-6. Two of those four runs were charged to Cederoth with the other two coming at the expense of Aztec reliever TJ Kendzora. Ethan Miller was eventually called to the mound with two out and runners at second and third, and he got the third out on a fly ball to center.

SDSU took the lead for good with two runs in its half of the seventh on a single by Jake Romanski, walk to Matt Muñoz, a balk by Beresford and a two-run double by Allen. Those runs meant that Beresford would be charged with the loss to even his record at 1-1.

Three more runs came in the top of the eighth when Romanski was hit by pitch with the bases loaded and Muñoz's grounder went under the glove of the UNLV shortstop for a two-out error that scored a pair of runs. Chris Wilson added another insurance run in the ninth with a solo home run to left, his fifth of the season.

Miller, meanwhile, turned in a stellar relief performance to earn the win and improve his record to 2-1 on the year. The junior right-hander went the final 3.1 innings allowing no hits while striking out five. The only base runner he allowed came on the ninth when a wild pitch on a strikeout allowed the batter to reach first base.

Chris Wilson (single, double, homer) and Spencer Thornton (three singles) both ended the evening with three hits apiece. Wilson had two RBI and scored once while Thornton had an RBI and run scored. Freshman Greg Allen finished with two hits including a double, two RBI and two runs scored.

San Diego State and UNLV continue their three-game series Friday night with a contest slated for a 6:00 p.m. start in Las Vegas.