Aztecs Conclude 2009 Campaign With 14-3 Loss To No. 1 UC Irvine

Matt Parker had two hits including a double and RBI in the contest against UC Irvine on Sunday.

May 31, 2009

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Irvine, Calif. - San Diego State's 2009 baseball season came to an end as it dropped a 14-3 decision to No. 1 ranked UC Irvine at the NCAA Regional in Irvine, Calif. The loss eliminated SDSU from postseason play as its finishes its season with a record of 41-23, its most wins since the 2002 campaign.

It was a frustrating evening for the Aztecs as they left at least one man on base in every inning (11 overall) while watching the Anteaters (45-14) record 19 hits against four pitchers.

Craig Rasmussen, making just his second start of the year for the Aztecs, ran into trouble in the first inning. After giving up a leadoff walk to Ben Orloff, Eric Deragisch beat out a sac bunt attempt for a base hit. Ronnie Shaeffer followed with an RBI single to left to make it 1-0. Two fly balls to left, the second a sacrifice fly off the bat of Casey Stevenson, brought home Deragisch to give the Anteaters an early 2-0 lead.

Rasmussen fared little better in the second frame although a pair of errors along with three hits led to a pair of unearned runs for UCI. It would mark the end of the afternoon for the sophomore left-hander as he would eventually be tagged with the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season.

San Diego State had at least one base runner in each of the first three innings against Anteater starter Crosby Slaught before finally breaking through in the fourth. Ryan O'Sullivan's two-out two-run double brought home Mitch Blackburn and Chris Wilson, who had singled and walked respectively. That cut the deficit in half and made it a 4-2 ball game.

SDSU senior Jon Berger, who had come on in relief of Rasmussen in the second, retired eight of the first nine hitters he faced. The Anteaters, however, had better luck the second time through the order against the right-hander as they tallied three runs on four hits in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 7-2.

Back-to-back doubles by Chris Wilson and Matt Parker to begin the top of the sixth allowed the Aztecs to pull a run back. It marked the end of the evening for Slaught, but he would go on to record the victory and improve to 8-0.

Irvine countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the sixth, then effectively put the game away with five runs in the next frame to up their advantage to 13-3. The key blow in the inning was a bases-loaded three-run double by Ben Orloff as UCI sent 10 men to the plate against three SDSU hurlers.

SDSU third baseman Erik Castro and catcher Matt Parker each had a pair of hits including double with Parker notching one of his team's three runs batted in. Jomel Torres and Cory Vaughn also chipped in with two singles apiece.

San Diego State concludes its season with a .291 team batting average and a 4.04 earned run average, its second-best ERA over the past 12 years. The pitching staff's total of 571 strikeouts (in 572.1 innings) ranks as the second most in SDSU history. The Aztecs set a team record with a stellar .974 fielding percentage as well.

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