Aztecs Defeat BYU, 2-1, In Classic Pitcher's Duel
May 13, 2011
SAN DIEGO - It was a "Cole" night at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Friday as BYU's Taylor Cole and San Diego State Cole Swanson hooked up in an epic pitchers' duel that saw the Aztecs win, 2-1, in walkoff style in the bottom of the ninth inning. The victory moved SDSU's record to 19-32 overall and 9-11 in the Mountain West Conference as they moved up into fourth place by percentage points over both the Cougars and UNLV.
The Aztecs secured the victory with a two-out rally in the final frame that was capped by an infield single by center fielder Cody Smith that brought home the game-winning run.
Brigham Young (25-24; 7-11 MWC) starter Taylor Cole was in and out of trouble much of the evening, but made the big pitches when he needed them. Twice he escaped first-and-second no-out situations with a double play. He also put runners on second and third with one out in the fourth, but got out of that jam with a grounder and line out.
SDSU freshman lefty Cole Swanson matched that effort and then some. Over his first seven innings of work he did not allow more than one runner on in any inning while matching his season-high with eight strikeouts. He allowed a one-out triple in the third, but got an infield pop-up and soft liner to shortstop to keep the game scoreless.
With his pitch count nearing 100, Swanson eventually surrendered a run in the top of the eight as a one-out single by Dane Nielsen was followed by a double to right by Jaycob Brugman that just eluded the glove of Aztec right fielder Brandon Meredith. Ryan Bernal then lofted a sacrifice fly to left to score the first run of the contest. Swanson would finish the inning, but would not be involved in the final decision as he was lifted in favor of Ethan Miller in the top of the ninth.
BYU's Cole shut out the Aztec in the bottom of the eight and was on the mound to start the ninth. His night ended shortly thereafter as back-to-back leadoff doubles by Chris Wilson and Ben Vasko tied the contest at 1-1 and brought closer Kolton Mahoney in from the Cougar bullpen.
An intentional walk to Tim Zier and a sacrifice bunt by Dillon Bryant put men at second and third with one out. Mahoney looked to have potentially turned SDSU aside when he struck out pinch hitter Jared Hunt for the second out. But Cody Smith grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle that BYU second baseman Andrew Law was able to get to, but Smith beat the throw to first to bring home Vasko with the winning run.
Taylor Cole, whose final line showed two runs on six hits with five walks and four strikeouts, was tagged with the loss to drop to 3-4 on the year. SDSU's Ethan Miller, who allowed a single and struck out two in the top of the ninth, was credited with the win to improve to 3-4.
Zier was the lone Aztec with more than one hit in the contest as he recorded a pair of singles and walked once in four plate appearances. Vasko had the RBI double, walked once and scored the all-important second run as well.
Brigham Young and San Diego State will conclude their three-game series on Saturday with a contest slated to start at 1:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Prior to the game for Aztec seniors will be honored as they play their final regular-season home contest for the Scarlet and Black.