Granite Hills alum Jordan Verdon posts walk-off sacrifice fly in bottom of the 12th
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
May 25, 2018 (San Diego) - After exchanging three-run third innings with the Rebels, lights-out pitching out of the Aztec bullpen and a walk-off sacrifice fly by Jordan Verdon, the San Diego State baseball solidified its place in the Mountain West Championship game tomorrow night with a 4-3 win over No. 4-seeded UNLV on Friday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs will go for its fifth Mountain West Championship in the last six years tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. against the winner of UNLV and San Jose State, which play tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.
Offense was relegated to the third inning for most of the night as UNLV scored three times in the inning off an RBI single by Dillon Johnson, RBI double by Nick Rodriguez and finally an RBI sacrifice fly by Nick Ames.
SDSU quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own. David Hensley and Chad Bible hit RBI singles and Jordan Verdon pushed a run across with a sacrifice fly.
Pitching was on full display on Friday night with UNLV starter Trevor Horn going eight innings while allowing three runs and nine hits on 118 pitches. SDSU starter Harrison Pyatt threw 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and was credited with a no-decision.
Adrian Mardueno, Logan Boyer and Casey Schmitt combined to throw 7.1 innings of shutout relief for SDSU while striking out eight and allowing just one hit.
Schmitt pitched the game's final three innings and allowed just one hit, but erased that base-knock quickly, making an impressive play on a softly hit grounder to start a 1-6-3 double play in the top of the 11th inning. Schmitt needed to face just the minimum over the course of his three-inning performance and earned his first collegiate win in the process.
The Aztecs and Rebels remained deadlocked at 3-3 until the bottom of the 12th. To start the frame, Jacob Maekawa was hit by a pitch and later advanced to second on a single by Matt Rudick. UNLV reliever Bryan Menendez then threw a potential pick-off throw into center field which allowed Maekawa to advance to third and was followed by Rudick stealing second.
After David Hensley grounded out to third and Chase Calabuig was intentionally walked, Jordan Verdon came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. On a 3-1 count, Verdon delivered a fly ball into left, where UNLV left fielder Grant Robbins made the catch and an on-line throw to Seth Mullis in an attempt to double up Maekawa tagging for the winning run, but the throw was late on a bang-bang play and the Aztecs celebrated its 4-3 walk-off victory that earned them a spot in tomorrow night's championship game.
Rudick led the way for the SDSU offense with three hits in a 3-for-6 night and Verdon produced two RBI.
The Big Notes
- Jordan Verdon picks up his second RBI of the evening and advances SDSU to the championship game with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 12th inning scoring Jacob Maekawa.
- San Diego State relievers Adrian Mardueno, Logan Boyer and Casey Schmitt combined to pitch 7.1 innings and allowed one hit, no runs, struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
- In the Mountain West tournament, Aztec relievers have pitched 10 innings and allowed one hit and no runs. They have been credited with both SDSU wins in the event.
- Tonight's the game tied the MW tournament record for the longest game (12 innings).
- This marked the longest game of the season (by innings) for SDSU this season.
- Tonight marked San Diego State's third walk-off victory of the season (Feb. 23 vs. Arizona, Jacob Maekawa run on wild pitch, March 20 vs. CSU Bakersfield, Dean Nevarez walk-off single.)
- SDSU won for the second straight night and the ninth time this season when the opponent scores first.
- San Diego State improves to 2-2 in extra-inning games this season.
- SDSU entered tonight 1-5 when tied after eight innings.
- San Diego State is 9-2 in its last 11 home games.
- San Diego State relievers combined to retire 17 straight batters from one out in the fifth through the end of the 10th.
- All 10 of SDSU's hits tonight were singles.
- SDSU is now 22-6 in the Mountain West tourney since 2013.
- The Aztecs have won four of the five league tournaments during that span. They are the only team in the country with four conference tournament championships in the last five years.
- San Diego State extends its MW tournament record win total to 49.
- SDSU wins its first two games of an MW tourney for the third time in five seasons (2014, 2017 and 2018). SDSU won the title in both 2014 and 2017.
- San Diego State improves to 24-10 at Tony Gwynn Stadium this season.
- San Diego State has played 21 innings of baseball in the last two days and is 2-0 despite leading at the end of only four of those innings.
- The Aztecs have scored runs in just three of 21 frames (2 vs. SJSU in the 7th, 3 vs. UNLV in the 3rd and 1 vs. UNLV in the 12th).
- SDSU will enter Saturday's game not having allowed a run in its last 9.1 innings.
- San Diego State is 6-1 in seven games this season against UNLV and 12-4 in its last 16 games against the Rebels.
- The Aztecs have won all four games against the Rebels at Tony Gwynn Stadium this season.
- SDSU has won the last six encounters with UNLV in San Diego.
- SDSU leads the all-time series, 92-61.
Head Coach Mark Martinez
- In his fourth season, claims his 142nd victory as a head coach (35.5 wins per season).
- Owns a 17-5 record in the MW tourney as the head coach.
Freshman RHP Casey Schmitt
W (1-1), 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
- Extended his streak of innings pitched without allowing a run to 25.2.
- Lowered his season ERA to a microscopic 0.28, the best by an Aztec in the Mountain West era (since 2000, minimum 10 IP).
- Has 24 strikeouts and just eight walks this season.
- Needed only 27 pitches to navigate through 3.0 innings tonight.
Sophomore, RHP Adrian Mardueno
1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
- Retired all four batters he faced.
- Recorded his 18th scoreless outing in 2018.
- Has allowed only 18 of 54 inherited runners to score in his career.
San Diego State looks for its fifth Mountain West Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs will face the winner of San Jose State and UNLV, who play an elimination game tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium.