Strasburg Tosses Complete-Game Shutout In 1-0 Win At New Mexico
April 17, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Brandon Meredith's home run and a complete-game pitching effort from Stephen Strasburg enabled 15th-ranked San Diego State to defeat New Mexico, 1-0, Friday evening in Albuquerque. The contest was played in weather featuring temperatures in the low 40s along with intermittent rain.
With the victory, the Aztecs (26-13, 9-4 WMC) took over sole possession of first place in the Mountain West Conference standings. UNM dropped into second place as its record fell to 28-11 overall and 9-5 in league play.
Strasburg finished the evening with 14 strikeouts as he improved to 8-0 on the year while lowering his earned run average to 1.28. He allowed seven hits and surrendered one walk, but managed to come up big each time that the Lobos threatened.
SDSU had a chance to do some damage in the second inning when it put runners on second and third with one out, but was unable to push across a run. UNM, meanwhile put two runners on in both the second and third, but came up empty as well.
The game's lone run came in the top of the fourth when Meredith led off with a home run deep over the left field fence off Lobo starter John Hesketh. Hesketh would allow five hits over seven innings on the night with six strikeouts, but the home run tagged him with the loss as his record dropped to 4-2.
Meredith's long ball was all that Strasburg would need although the rest of the contest was not without some tense moments for the Aztecs.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lobo left fielder Adam Courcha led off with a triple to left center field. He would remain there, however, as Strasburg got a grounder to third and a pair of strikeouts to end the inning. From the fifth through seventh frames, the Aztec junior right-hander got seven of the eight consecutive Lobo outs via the strikeout.
In the top of the eighth, UNM's Daniel Gonzalez led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. With two out, Ryan Honeycutt singled to left where SDSU's Brandon Decker gloved the ball and fired to the plate, easily cutting down Gonzalez trying to score from second.
In the ninth a leadoff single by Rafael Neda and a sac bunt put pinch runner Cameron Monger on second with one out. Monger stole third, but Strasburg then struck the next two Lobo batters to end the game.
San Diego State and New Mexico continue their three-game weekend series on Saturday, April 18, with a contest scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. (MT) start at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.