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Leonhardt’s two-run single provides winning margin on Sunday


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February 27, 2022 (San Diego) -  Brian Leonhardt hit a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning on Sunday, lifting San Diego State to a 4-3 walk-off victory over Utah to wrap up the annual Tony Gwynn Legacy in dramatic fashion at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

With the win, the Aztecs (3-4) finished their home tournament with a 2-1 mark, avenging Saturday’s night’s 4-0 loss to the Utes (4-1-1), who suffered their first defeat of the 2022 campaign.

Sunday’s SDSU-Utah clash was called an official game after seventh innings due to time constraints involving the Utes’ travel plans.
Nursing a slim 3-2 lead in the bottom of the decisive frame, Utah summoned three relievers from the bullpen after the Aztecs’ Kenny LeBeau drew a leadoff walk from Bryson Van Sickle.
T.J. Clarkson took the mound for the visitors, but Caden Miller bunted for a base hit and advanced to second on Cole Carrigg’s sacrifice, with LeBeau moving to third.
Zac McCleve entered for Utah but was promptly lifted in favor of Blake Whiting after issuing a walk to Poncho Ruiz, which loaded the bases. Leonhardt stepped to the plate and roped an 0-2 pitch into shallow center field that dropped in front of Carter Booth. LeBeau and Miller quickly raced home as the SDSU dugout erupted in jubilation.
Despite a hit batter, the Aztecs’ third reliever of the day, Jadon Bercovich (1-0), picked up his first collegiate victory after getting the final two outs in the top of the seventh on a ground ball to second and a tapper back to the mound.
Jacob Flores started on the hill for SDSU, posting a career-high seven strikeouts in five innings. However, the Aztec left-hander allowed all three of Utah’s runs on two hits and two walks.
San Diego State opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Ruiz drove in Shaun Montoya on an infield hit with two outs. Previously, Montoya led off with a single and advanced to third after Carrigg reached on a fielder’s choice following a walk to Miller.
Utah responded with a tally in the fourth when Kai Roberts touched the plate on Matt Richardson’s squeeze bunt with one out.
The Aztecs reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning when Montoya’s sharp single up the middle plated Tino Bethancourt with one out. Earlier, Bethancourt led off with a base hit through the right side and subsequently stole second before moving to third on Charlie Rhee’s groundout.
With two gone in the top of the fifth, Booth smacked a two-run homer over the fence in left-center field on a 3-2 pitch, giving the Utes a 3-2 advantage.
Jonny Guzman entered in the sixth and kept Utah off the scoreboard over the next 1 1/3 innings, yielding three hits, including a leadoff double in the seventh before giving way to Bercovich.
Cam Day started for Utah and allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings to go with five strikeouts. Clarkson (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing Miller to reach in the seventh.
San Diego State continues its busy stretch with a pair of non-conference games on consecutive nights vs. Hawai’i (Monday, Feb. 28) and UC Irvine (Tuesday, March 1) at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Both contests are slated to get underway at 6 p.m. 

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