Aztecs Rally to Edge New Mexico 6-5
May 2, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - San Diego State erased a one-run deficit with three runs in the top of the sixth and went on to a 6-5 victory over New Mexico Friday evening at Lobo field in Albuquerque. With the victory the Aztecs improved to 32-14 overall and 13-9 in the Mountain West as they moved into a tie for third place with Nevada and within a game of the second-place Lobos.
The game went back and forth over the first five frames with SDSU taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Ryan Muno singled, advanced to third on Evan Potter's sacrifice bunt and scored on Greg Allen's single.
That lead was short-lived, however, as UNM (31-15-1, 14-8 MW) responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the same inning with four consecutive two-out singles against SDSU starter Bubba Derby.
The Aztecs tied the score at 2-2 in their next at bat with the help of a New Mexico error. With the bases loaded and one out, Ryan Muno hit a potential double play grounder to the left of first base that Lobo first baseman fielded and threw to second where it was dropped by the UNM second baseman allowing the tying run to score.
Not to be outdone, the home side struck for a run one inning later on a leadoff triple by Danny Collier and sacrifice fly by Chase Harris.
San Diego State's rally in the sixth began with one out when Brad Haynal was hit by pitch and Spencer Thornton singled to center. Muno then launched a double to the left center field gap that scored both runners and gave the Aztecs a 4-3 lead. Evan Potter then placed a single down the right field line to bring home Muno and make it 5-3.
SDSU added what would be an important insurance run in the top of the seventh. Ty France began the inning with a bunt to third which he beat out for a hit, and when the third baseman's throw sailed past first base France went all the way to third. He would score on Tyler Adkison's ground out to second to give the Aztecs a three-run cushion.
Derby would go eight-plus innings on the mound for the Aztecs, but after surrendering a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth he was lifted in favor of closer Michael Cederoth. After striking out the first batter he faced, Cederoth issued a walk before a fielder's choice forced the lead runner at third, leaving two on with two away.
Sam Haggerty then delivered a double into the left field corner that scored both runners to make it 6-5, but Cederoth then got Collier to ground out to second to end the contest.
Derby would be credited with the win after allowing three runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts while Cederoth recorded his 17th save of the season. UNM starter Josh Walker took the loss to fall to 6-4.
SDSU designated hitter Spencer Thornton finished the evening with three hits and a run scored while Muno had two hits, three RBI and three runs scored. In addition, senior Tim Zier had a single to move into a tie for most career hits by an Aztec.
San Diego State and New Mexico will continue their weekend series with a contest on Saturday, May 2, at 2:00 p.m. (MT) in Albuquerque.