Aztecs Overcome Late Air Force Surge With 14-9 Victory In 10 Innings
April 9, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Home runs by Ryan O'Sullivan and Brandon Meredith accounted for five runs in the top of the 10th inning as San Diego State defeated Air Force, 14-9, Friday afternoon at Falcon Field in Colorado Springs. The extra frame was necessitated when the Falcons tied the contest with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to complete a comeback after they had trailed by five runs at the end of six.
San Diego State (13-17, 2-5 MWC) scored in each of the first six innings as it built a 9-4 lead in support of freshman starting pitcher Corey Black. Included in those nine Aztec runs were solo home runs by Chris Wilson, his fourth of the year, and Ryan O'Sullivan, his first of the season.
Black, meanwhile, was doing his part to limit Air Force's offense on a chilly afternoon that saw a consistent 20-25 mph wind blowing out to left field. The first-year Aztec right-hander would go five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks. He also notched a season-high nine strikeouts, but despite departing in the sixth with a 9-4 lead, would not be involved in the decision.
Air Force (7-22, 1-5 MWC) starting pitcher, senior Alex Truesdale, would also not be around for the finish. After allowing the nine runs over the first six frames, he gave way to freshman Stephen Colangelo to begin the seventh. It was at that point that the game began to turn as the Falcon reliever shut out SDSU over the next three innings, allowing just a lone single in the ninth. His teammates also began a comeback that would eventually tie the contest in dramatic fashion.
In the seventh, left fielder Ben Ausbun hit a two-run homer off SDSU reliever Robert Alcala to make it a 9-6 contest. In the eighth, a triple by Nathan Cater and RBI ground out by Blair Roberts against Aztec senior hurler Drew Leary brought Falcons to within two at 9-7. One inning later, with closer John Pecoraro on the mound, Ausbun connected for another two-run homer, this one tying the game at 9-9 and sending it to extra frames.
With Colangelo still on the mound, Aztec catcher Matt Parker led off the top of the 10th with a double to right center. O'Sullivan then stepped up and blasted his second homer of the day over the scoreboard in left field to give SDSU an 11-9 lead. After Mitch Blackburn and Jomel Torres walked, the Falcons brought on Alex Baker in relief only to have Brandon Meredith launch a three-run homer to center field to complete the scoring.
Four of the five runs in the inning were charged to Colangelo (0-1) and he would be saddled with the loss. SDSU's Pecoraro finished out a scoreless bottom of the 10th to pick up the victory and improve to 2-1 on the season.
Meredith (single, double, HR) and O'Sullivan (single, two HR) both finished with three hits and three runs scored with the former driving in five runs and the latter three. Five other Aztecs had two hits apiece as all nine starters reached safely at least once.
San Diego State and Air Force will continue their three-game weekend series on Saturday, April 10, with a game slated for a 1:00 p.m. (MT) start in Colorado Springs.