Matt Rudick (left) delivers game-winning hit with two down in the 10th
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Matt Rudick hit a walk-off single to score Joe Fitzhugh with two outs in the bottom of the 10th as the San Diego State baseball team won its series opener against Seattle, 6-5. SDSU improves to 9-7 on the year, while Seattle falls to 4-13.
The game-winning run transpired after Fitzhugh was able to reach base on an error by Seattle third baseman Austin Lively and later moved up to second on a wild pitch. After Jacob Maekawa grounded out for the second out, Rudick poked a single through the middle of the infield on a 1-1 count to score Fitzhugh from second base.
Rudick's 10th-inning single marked as SDSU's first base hit since Casey Schmitt hit a one-out triple in the sixth.
With the Aztecs facing a 5-3 deficit, the Aztecs capitalized on some Redhawk miscues in the bottom of the seventh with Rudick and Angelo Armenta both getting hit by a pitch and Jacob Maekawa and Julian Escobedo both drawing walks. Armenta's hit by pitch with the bases loaded forced Maekawa to score, and Brian Leonhardt later scored Rudick on a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game at 5-5.
SDSU received a trio of impressive relief performances, including Christian Winston (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K), Adrian Mardueno (2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K), and Valhalla alum Casey O'Sullivan (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K). Mardueno struck out each of the first three batters he faced before striking out the side in order in the top of the eighth. Mardueno's seven strikeouts set a new career-high for the junior.
O'Sullivan earned his third win of the year after stranding a pair of base runners in the 10th, as the Redhawks had a one-out base runner after an Aztec base runner. After a sacrifice bunt, SDSU intentionally walked Seattle catcher Kyler Murphy before O'Sullivan induced an inning-ending Jacob Prater fly out.
SDSU scored its first three runs of the game in a five-hit fourth inning after Escobedo and Armenta both led off the inning with infield singles. Armenta later crossed the plate on a passed ball, and Chad Bible drove home Escobedo on a single through the left side of the infield before Bible later came around to score on a Schmitt single.
SDSU starter Aaron Eden went four innings with three earned runs allowed, eight hits, two walks, and one strikeout. Seattle's Jarrod Billig was dealt the loss, going 3.2 innings with one hit and four walks allowed against three strikeouts.
Bible and Schmitt led the Aztecs offensively, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-5, respectively.
- SDSU recorded its 11th double-digit strikeout game of the season after recording 12 against the Redhawks on Friday.
- Adrian Mardueno saw a streak of 14.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run come to a close. Mardueno, who spent the summer as the Anchorage Bucs (Alaska Baseball League) closer, also did not allow an earned run over 19.2 innings pitched in Alaska.
- Angelo Armenta extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Armenta has recorded at least one hit in 15 of 16 games this year.
- Both Chad Bible and Casey Schmitt recorded their third consecutive multi-hit games.
- Jacob Maekawa reached base in 11 of his last 12 games.
- Eight of the nine spots in the SDSU lineup recorded at least one hit.
- SDSU had the leadoff man on in five of 10 innings.
SDSU looks to clinch its second consecutive weekend series win on Saturday against Seattle. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. with RHP Harrison Pyatt taking the ball for the Aztecs.