Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
May 19, 2018 (Reno) - Despite a four-run eighth inning, the San Diego State baseball's late-inning comeback attempt fell short against Nevada on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 12-10 decision at Peccole Park.
After the Wolf Pack took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, SDSU responded loudly in its next at-bats, with a Dean Nevarez two-run home run giving the Aztecs a 2-1 advantage. The Aztecs capped a three-run second inning with a two-out David Hensley RBI single. The home run for Nevarez was his seventh of the 2018 season.
Nevada posted a five-run third and a three-run fourth to build a 9-4 lead after four innings. The Aztec bats showed signs of a late comeback with a two-run seventh and a four-run eighth inning, but were ultimately held off with three Wolf Pack insurance runs scored over the seventh and eighth innings.
Chase Calabuig highlighted SDSU's two-run seventh, hitting his conference-leading sixth triple of the season to drive in Patrick Henry alum Hensley. Calabuig later scored on a wild pitch to cut Nevada's lead to 9-6.
In search of kickstarting a late-inning rally, SDSU led off the top of the eighth with back-to-back hits by Grant Mayeaux and Matt Rudick. Mayeaux ultimately scored on a Hensley sacrifice fly, and after Calabuig drew a walk in the next at-bat, Granite Hills alum Jordan Verdon hit a fly ball that was dropped by Wolf Pack right fielder Mike Echavia, allowing Verdon to reach third base and score both Calabuig and Rudick. Verdon cut Nevada's lead to just one after scoring on a wild pitch brought the score to 11-10.
Starter Justin Goossen-Brown (5-3) was handed his third loss of the season, allowing eight hits and four earned runs over 2.1 innings pitched.
Logan Boyer pitched in three innings of relief for SDSU and retired each of the first six batters he faced. Boyer finished his three-inning outing with two runs and two hits allowed while striking out a game-high five.
Casey Schmitt retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth on eight pitches, extending his scoreless inning streak to 22.2 innings.
Each of SDSU's 1-2-3 hitters in Rudick, Hensley, and Calabuig recorded two hits. Nevarez also contributed two hits in the setback.
The Aztecs finish the regular season at 36-19 (18-12 Mountain West) and will be the No. 2 seed in next weekend's Mountain West Championships hosted at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs open postseason play on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. against No. 3 seeded San Jose State. Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter to find out if ECM Sports will have coverage of Thursday night's game.