Two-run homer sends Nevada to overtime victory
Photo: Tyler Adkison had a double and drove in SDSU's lone run against Nevada Saturday afternoon. Courtesy goaztecs.com
April 8, 2017 (San Diego) - Dillan Shrum’s home run in the top of the 11th inning ended a 1-1 stalemate and propelled Nevada to a 3-1 victory over San Diego State Saturday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The two-run homer to right field was the first of the season for the freshman first baseman, who was responsible for driving in all three of the Wolf Pack’s runs on the day.
The loss was especially hard for the Aztecs to take, after a controversial call led to Nevada’s first run and they had golden opportunities to win the contest in both the ninth and 10th frames.
The game began as a pitchers’ dual between Nevada’s Mike Novaczewski and SDSU’s Dominic Purpura. Neither side was able to break through over the first three innings although the Aztecs left two runners on base in each of those frames while the Wolf Pack stranded a total of four.
Nevada began the top of the fourth with a ground ball by Cole Krzmarzick to Alan Trejo, which the SDSU second baseman momentarily bobbled before throwing to first and appearing to get the out. But the first base umpire ruled that first baseman Jordan Verdon had come off the bag and the runner was safe. An errant pickoff attempt by Purpura moved the Krzmarzick to third before he came home on Shrum’s sacrifice fly to left.
The Aztecs did little offensively over the next three innings until breaking through to tie the contest with a run in their half of the seventh. Danny Sheehan led off with a double to left and advanced to third on a fly ball to center by Verdon. Tyler Adkison then hit a fly ball to left that was deep enough to bring home Sheehan with the tying run.
Purpura made it through eight innings but would not be involved in the decision. He allowed the one run (unearned) on four hits with three walks and a career-high tying six strikeouts. He was lifted in favor of Jacob Erickson to begin the ninth inning.
San Diego State had a chance to win the contest in the bottom of the ninth when it loaded the bases with one out, but Wolf Pack reliever Grant Ford induced Andrew Brown to ground into a double play.
The Aztecs were presented with another opportunity to claim victory in their half to the 10th, putting runners on first and second with one out before Grant was able to get Dean Nevarez to ground into a twin killing.
The top of the 11th began with a leadoff single by Mike Echavia, who was sacrificed to second by Krzmarzick. Closer CJ Saylor was summoned from the SDSU bullpen in relief of Erickson, but Shrum then came up and hit a fly ball that carried over the fence in right center to give the visitors the 3-1 lead.
Grant’s 2.2 innings of shutout relief would earn him the win as he improved to 3-2 on the season. The loss went to Erickson, who saw his record fall to 4-2.
Verdon, Chase Calabuig and David Hensley finished with two hits apiece for the Aztecs, who were frustrated by not being able to come up with the timely hit throughout the contest.
San Diego State and Nevada will play the rubber game of their weekend series on Sunday (April 9) with that contest scheduled to get underway at 1:00 p.m. PT at Tony Gwynn stadium.