Pallares Grand Slam Keys Aztec Win Over New Mexico
May 22, 2014
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - San Diego State exploded for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning highlighted by Steven Pallares' grand slam as it defeated New Mexico, 11-5, Thursday afternoon at the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas. The victory improved the Aztecs to 39-18 on the year and sees them advance on the winners' side of the tourney bracket.
SDSU played catch-up over the first six frames as it had to come from behind twice to tie the score. After falling behind 1-0 to a Lobo run in the first, the Aztecs evened the contest with a run in the top of the third on a two-out RBI single by Tim Zier that scored Tyler Adkison, who had singled to lead off the inning.
After the Lobos took a 3-1 lead with two runs in their half of the fourth, SDSU came back to knot the score with single runs in the fifth and sixth. Those markers came courtesy of another RBI single by Zier and an RBI ground out by Ryan Muno.
San Diego State took its first lead of the afternoon with that eight-run rally in the top of the seventh as it sent 11 men to the plate. With Greg Allen at first and Zier at second with one out, Ty France hit a grounder to third that went off the UNM third baseman and allowed Allen to score to make it 4-3. Brad Haynal was then hit by pitch to load the bases, but UNM starter Josh Walker got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Pallares then came up and launched a 1-0 pitch from Walker over the left center field fence for the grand slam that was just his second home run of the season to give the SDSU an 8-3 edge.
But the Aztecs weren't done as Lobo reliever Taylor Duree surrendered three more runs thanks to an error, singles by Adkison and Evan Potter (RBI) and two-run double by Allen. In the inning the Aztecs totaled five hits and were helped by three New Mexico fielding miscues. The rally would make a loser of UNM's Walker who saw his record drop to 7-5.
SDSU freshman left-hander Brett Seeburger, who had come on with two out in the sixth in relief of starter Mark Seyler, was the beneficiary of his team's offensive outburst as he picked up the win to improve to 3-0.
Four Aztecs ended the afternoon with two hits apiece including Allen (double, two RBI, run scored), Zier (two RBI, run scored), Adkison (two runs scored) and Potter (RBI, two runs scored).
In addition to his two hits, Evan Potter's sacrifice bunt in the second inning was the 32nd of his Aztec career as he became the all-time leader at SDSU. He surpassed the previous career best of 31 sac bunts set by Steve Dietz (1990-93).
With the victory San Diego State will move on to face the winner of Thursday evening's Fresno State-UNLV contest at 7:00 p.m. Friday night (May 23).