Adrian Mardueno strikes out career-high eight in a five-inning start
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
May 17, 2019 (San Diego) - Despite a strong start from Adrian Mardueno, the San Diego State baseball team fell to New Mexico 2-0 at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Friday night to even the weekend series. The Aztecs now sit at 32-22 (16-12 Mountain West), while New Mexico improves its record to 22-28-1 (10-16-1 MW).
Making his second career start, Mardueno recorded a career-high eight strikeouts over five innings of work while allowing just one run on four hits with one walk. After Connor Mang led off the top of the second with a double, Mardueno retired each of the next four batters he faced via strikeout.
The Lobos broke through with their first run in the top of the fourth, scoring a run on Reese O'Farrell's RBI single.
The Aztecs had multiple run-scoring opportunities throughout the game, including the third, fifth, and sixth innings where SDSU left multiple runners on base.
In the sixth facing a 1-0 deficit, Julian Escobedo and Angelo Armenta hit back-to-back singles to give the Aztecs runners at the corners with one out. After Armenta stole second base, New Mexico's Justin Slaten recorded back-to-back strikeouts to leave a pair of runners stranded in scoring position and end the threat.
Michael Paredes and Casey Schmitt both kept the Lobo lineup modest throughout the late stages of the game. Paredes surrendered just one unearned run over 1.2 innings of work, while Schmitt did not allow a hit and struck out four in the game's final 1.2 innings.
New Mexico added an insurance run in the top of the eighth with Tanner Baker scoring on a passed ball.
The Aztecs brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after Mike Jarvis hit a two-out single to centerfield. New Mexico closer Malachi Emond was able to record his 10th save of the season, however, striking out pinch hitter Jacob Cruce after a six-pitch at-bat.
Mardueno was dealt the tough-luck loss, while Slaten earned the win for the Lobos, pitching 6.1 innings with four hits, no runs, two walks, and six strikeouts.
The Aztecs were 0-for-6 at the plate with runners in scoring position and 2-for-12 with runners on base. SDSU pitching, however, also held the Lobos to a low success rate with run-scoring chances, with UNM going 0-for-4 with the bases loaded and 2-for-17 with runners on base.
- The Aztecs will head to the Mountain West Championships in Reno, Nevada, next week as the No. 2 seed. It is the sixth time in conference history the Aztecs are the No. 2 seed in the conference. Each of the last four Mountain West Tournament Champions have been the No. 2 seed, including three times by SDSU. Overall, SDSU is 18-4 and 11-2 in their last 13 games when playing as the No. 2 seed in the Mountain West Championships.
- SDSU falls to 10-2 in their last 12 home games.
- The Aztec pitching staff recorded 14 strikeouts, good for the team's 25th double-digit strikeout performance of the season. SDSU had already previously broken their Mountain West era record with their 24th double-digit strikeout game last weekend at Fresno State.
- Matt Rudick had a 12-game hitting streak and 16-game on-base streak snapped. Rudick also had a 24-game on-base streak in home games snapped and a 39-game on-base streak in Mountain West games snapped. Rudick's 39-game in-conference on-base streak is the second-longest by an Aztec since joining the Mountain West.
The rubber game between the Aztecs and Lobos is scheduled for tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.