Aztecs get out of bases loaded, no-out ninth inning jam to preserve win
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
February 22, 2019 (San Diego) - Behind Matt Rudick’s go-ahead RBI and Casey Schmitt’s game-saving ninth inning, the San Diego State baseball team opened its first game of the Tony Gwynn Legacy with a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma on Friday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
With the game-tying run just 90 feet away with the bases loaded and no outs, Schmitt was able to maneuver his way in a game-saving sequence, recording back-to-back strikeouts before ending the game on a weak dribbler by Zack Moeller, allowing Joe Fitzhugh to step on home for the final out.
SDSU was able to enter the ninth with a lead in thanks to a go-ahead single by Matt Rudick, who logged two-out RBI single to score Schmitt who drew a four-pitch walk earlier in the inning.
The bats came alive for the Aztecs (4-1) at the bottom of the third, jumping out to a 2-0 lead with an RBI-single from Casey Schmitt and an error from Utah that sent Matt Rudick home. The Utes (1-3) wouldn’t respond until the bottom of the eighth, capitalizing on an Aztec error and an RBI-single from Erick Migueles.
Aztec starter Logan Boyer opened strong for the Aztecs, recording seven strikeouts in five shutout innings of work while only allowing three hits.
Joe Fitzhugh had an impressive game behind the plate, throwing out two runners at second while his third-inning double was the Aztecs only extra-base hit of the contest. The two-bagger for Fitzhugh jumpstarted the Aztecs’ two-run score in the third inning.
O’Sullivan (2-0) earned the win for the Aztecs, while Utah’s Ian MacIver (0-1) was handed the loss after giving up one earned run on one walk and two hits in one inning of work. After a nine-save season last year, Schmitt logged his first save of the 2019 season after holding off the Utes' last-chance effort.
- San Diego State won its 103rd all-time game against Utah, good for the third-most wins against any other program (New Mexico – 114, Air Force – 108).
- SDSU improves to 16-7 in their last 23 one-run games and have won four of their last five.
- Julian Escobedo reached base in his 29th consecutive game. The streak is the longest since David Hensley reached base in 29 consecutive games during the 2018 season.
- Casey O’Sullivan registered two strikeouts in 0.2 innings, giving him 13 strikeouts out of a possible 15 outs.
- San Diego State registered 12 or more strikeouts for the fifth consecutive game. The streak of four consecutive games entering tonight is the longest in the Mountain West era (since 2000).
- Casey Schmitt recorded his 10th career save, putting him in a tie for 14th in program history.
- SDSU is 4-1 in its last five Tony Gwynn Legacy contests.
- SDSU has started the season 4-1 for the second consecutive year.
SDSU returns to the field tomorrow for their second game of the Tony Gwynn Legacy at 6:00 p.m. against Oklahoma. RHP Harrison Pyatt is scheduled to take the mound for the Aztecs, while RHP Nathan Wiles is set to take the ball for the Sooners.