Aztecs take series opener against Spartans
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
May 4, 2019 (San Diego) - Angelo Armenta's two-out 11th-inning single scored Matt Rudick and Casey Schmitt to give the San Diego State baseball team a 7-6 win over San Jose State on Friday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs, now second place in the Mountain West standings, stand at 27-19 (12-9) on the year while the Spartans fall to 19-27 (12-10 MW).
The Aztecs faced a 6-5 deficit heading into their half of the 11th inning after the Spartans took the lead on Blake Berry's sacrifice fly.
With two outs and Rudick at first base, Schmitt singled through the right side of the infield to give the Aztecs runners at the corners. Schmitt later stole second base, providing Armenta -- who was down to his final strike -- with a chance at driving in the game-winning run on a base hit. Armenta converted on the opportunity, poking a single through the middle of the field on a 1-2 offering from Spartan closer Fineas Del Bonta Smith.
Schmitt, who scored the game-winning run, also earned the win on the mound, throwing two innings of relief with one run and three hits allowed.
Some four-plus hours prior to Armenta's walk-off base hit, the Aztecs quickly gained a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after back-to-back RBI singles by Chad Bible and Jaden Fein. The Spartans immediately responded, however, capitalizing on a pair of Aztec errors to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the second.
With the Spartans leading 4-2 heading to the bottom of the fifth, the Aztecs cut the deficit to just one after a Schmitt RBI single. In their next turn at bat in the sixth, the Aztecs claimed a 5-4 advantage after a throwing error by Spartan shortstop Aaron Pleschner allowed Mike Jarvis to score and Julian Escobedo drove in Jacob Maekawa on a single to right field.
The Spartans, again, wasted no time in tying the score, using a Pleschner RBI single to right field in the top of the seventh to score Anders Davidson.
Aztec starting pitcher Justin Goossen-Brown limited the damage despite uncharacteristic control issues, allowing one earned run on six hits with five walks and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Goossen-Brown's counterpart, Andrew Mitchel, had control issues of his own, allowing five runs on six hits with six walks in 5.2 innings of work.
Adrian Mardueno contributed 3.1 innings of two-hit relief, allowing just one run to score while striking out five.
SDSU's top six hitters in the order featuring Rudick, Escobedo, Schmitt, Armenta, Bible, and Fein, combined for nine of SDSU's 11 hits. Escobedo, Schmitt, and Fein led the Aztecs with two hits apiece. Rudick also walked three times and reached base in four of his six plate appearances.
The Aztecs went 7-for-17 with runners in scoring position while limiting the Spartans to just a 3-for-14 clip with run-scoring opportunities.
- Tonight's game marks as SDSU's second walk-off win of the season (also Matt Rudick RBI single vs. Seattle on March 15 in 10th inning) and third game this season that has ended in a walk off.
- SDSU improves to 15-2 in their last 17 games against SJSU.
- Making his 36th appearance as an Aztec with 127 innings pitched entering tonight, Justin Goossen-Brown allowed more than two walks in a single appearance for the first time in his career.
- SDSU has won seven of their last eight home games.
- Tonight's game was SDSU's longest of the season in terms of both innings (11) and time of game (4:23).
- Oddly enough, the Aztecs improve to 8-1 in games where they have committed three or more errors.
SDSU looks to capture a series win against SJSU tonight at 6:00 p.m. RHP Michael Paredes will make the start for the Aztecs.