Baseball Completes Sweep of First-Place New Mexico
April 23, 2000
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State baseball team completed a three-game sweep of first-place New Mexico with a 5-4 win at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Sunday.
In a game that was dominated by pitching, the Aztecs (25-22 overall, 13-8 Mountain West Conference) held the upper hand for the majority of the contest, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after three innings. The Lobos (28-16 overall, 16-5 MWC) answered with a run in the top of the fourth, and then things got interesting.
After SDSU right fielder Chad Redfern belted a solo home run to left field to give the Aztecs a 3-1 lead after five innings, UNM jumped on SDSU in the top of the sixth. With two out in the Lobo half of the sixth, Aztec reliever John Skinner gave up back-to-back singles to catcher Jake Little and right fielder Donny Sevieri. UNM center fielder Mark Okano then drove in Little with a single to center. With the Lobos trailing by only one run with two outs, UNM head coach Rich Alday elected to call a hit and run, with Sevieri breaking for third and Okano for second.
With the runners in motion, batter Dusty Young hit a slow roller to SDSU third baseman Garrett Cook, who bobbled the ball when Sevieri passed in front of him. As a result, everyone was safe. UNM second baseman Troy Cairns then made the Aztecs pay for Cook's error, ripping a single into center field that scored Sevieri and Okano. SDSU reliever Chris Dunwell then came on for Skinner to strike out Aaron Stanley, but the damage had been done and the Lobos took a 4-3 lead.
However, the Aztecs would fight back in the bottom half of the inning. After reaching on a fielder's choice with one out, SDSU second baseman Matt Ricardy stole second. UNM reliever Jeff Perez then walked catcher Brandon Rogers. Alday then went to the bullpen to bring on his top reliever, Joe Abell. The usually reliable Abell was promptly greeted with a line drive double into left-center field off the bat of shortstop Edgar Gonzalez that drove in Ricardy and Rogers and would give the Aztecs a 5-4 lead and eventually, the win.
Dunwell took care of the rest, yielding only one hit in the final three innings to pick up the win and improve his record to 2-1. Although Dunwell slammed the door on the Lobos, he was not the only SDSU pitcher to shine, as starter Chris Hartshorn held UNM hitless through 4 2/3 innings. Hartshorn left the game after showing signs of fatigue at the conclusion of the fifth inning. He only allowed one hit and struck out three in five innings.
With the win, the Aztecs took sole possession of second place in the MWC standings, and now trail UNM by three games with nine conference contests remaining. Of the Lobos' five conference losses, four have come at the hands of SDSU.
The Aztecs return to action at 3 p.m. on Tuesday when they travel across town to take on the University of San Diego in non-conference action.
San Diego State 5, New Mexico 4 UNM 000 103 000 - 4 6 0 SDSU 101 012 00X - 5 4 3 Semprevivo, Perez (4), Abell (6) and Little Hartshorn, Skinner (6), Dunwell (6) and Rogers Win-Dunwell (2-1) Loss-Perez (1-2) Save-None Home Runs - SDSU: Redfern (3) Doubles - SDSU: G. Cook, Gonzalez Stolen Bases - SDSU: Redfern 2, Ricardy, UNM- Sisk, Dennis