Air Force Rallies for 10-9 Walk-Off Win Over SDSU
April 13, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A hit batter with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning brought home the winning run and allowed Air Force to defeat San Diego State, 10-9, Saturday afternoon at Falcon Field. The loss dropped the Aztecs out of first place in the Mountain West as they saw their record fall to 18-17 overall and 9-5 in conference play.
SDSU could not get anything going offensively over the first five innings and found itself trailing 5-0 midway through the contest.
Aztec starting pitcher Philip Walby, who worked out of jams in both the second and third innings, was not so fortunate in the fourth. A leadoff double and walk set the stage for Brian Sicher's three-run homer over the center field fence. One inning later it was David Baska who took Walby deep for a two-run homer.
The Aztecs began a comeback in the top of the sixth, scoring three times during a rally keyed by Jake Romanski's two-run single. They added four more in the seventh to take the lead (7-6) for the first time on the afternoon. Tim Zier's two-run homer and an RBI double from Brad Haynal were the big blows in the inning.
Zier was the Aztecs' offensive star in the contest, recording four hits including the home run, a triple and a pair of singles with two RBI and two runs scored.
Air Force didn't stay behind for long as it answered with two markers in the bottom of the seventh to forge ahead 8-7. SDSU, in turn, knotted the score with a run in the top of the eighth on Greg Allen's RBI double. That set the stage for the deciding ninth inning.
Romanski led off the top of the frame for the Aztecs with a single to right center and would later score on Matt Muñoz's two out single up the middle to put SDSU on top 9-8. That brought out closer Bubba Derby to start the bottom of the inning.
The freshman right-hander was greeted by a home run to left off the bat of Tyler Saleck to tie the game once again. David Thomas the single and was sacrificed to second before a ground out put him at third with two away. Derby then walked pinch hitter Alex Bast before issuing an intentional pass to Garrett Custons to load the bases. The Aztec hurler went 3-0 on Matt Thorne, but came back to get a full count before hitting Thorne to drive in the winning run.
Falcon reliever Bo Wilson, who had given up the go-ahead run in the top of the final inning, was credited with the win, his first of the year. Derby took the loss to fall to 3-2.
Romanski (two RBI, two runs) and Ty France (RBI) finished the contest with two hits apiece for SDSU, which out-hit the home side 14-12.
The Aztecs and Falcons will play the rubber game of their weekend series on Sunday with the contest scheduled to get underway at noon in Colorado Springs.