Aztecs score three in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 29, 2019 (San Diego) - The San Diego State baseball team used a three-run eighth-inning rally to tie the game at 4-4 against Fresno State, but ultimately fell just short in a 5-4 loss at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Friday night. The Aztecs fall to 14-11 (4-4 Mountain West), while the Bulldogs improve to 12-7 (3-4 MW).
After the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth were retired, back-to-back singles by Casey Schmitt and Brian Leonhardt gave the Aztecs a late-inning two-out scoring opportunity facing a 4-1 deficit.
In the ensuing at-bat, Joe Fitzhugh drove in both Schmitt and Leonhardt on a hard-hit double into the left-field corner to cut the deficit to one. Fitzhugh later scored the game-tying run from second after Fresno State shortstop JT Arruda made an off-line throw on a Chad Bible ground ball.
Unfortunately for SDSU, a one-out ninth-inning RBI single by McCarthy Tatum gave the Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage. SDSU started the bottom of the ninth with a Matt Rudick single, but Bulldog closer Jamie Arias was able to retire each of the next three batters he faced to secure his fifth save of the season.
The Aztecs opened the scoring in the second inning, capitalizing on a Bulldog miscue to allow Schmitt to score. Fresno State scored four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead, using three hits and two walks in the frame.
Aaron Eden tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in a no-decision, allowing four runs on six hits with four walks. Jacob Flores was dealt a tough-luck loss, allowing just one hit and one run over a 2.1 inning relief outing.
Fresno State starter Ryan Jensen went 7.2 innings, allowing six hits, four runs (two earned), while walking three and striking out five.
Matt Rudick (2-for-5), Brian Leonhardt (2-for-5, R, 2B), and Joe Fitzhugh (2-for-4, R, 2 RBIs) each recorded a multi-hit performance to lead the Aztecs at the plate.
- Matt Rudick extends his hitting streak to 17 games while recording his team-best 12th multi-hit game of the season.
- Joe Fitzhugh extended his hitting streak to seven games. Over Fitzhugh's seven-game hitting streak, the sophomore has recorded three multi-hit games, three multi-RBI games, and is hitting .462 (12-for-26) with nine runs scored, nine RBIs, five doubles, and a home run.
- SDSU pitching recorded its 15th double-digit strikeout game of the season, the team's most 10+ strikeout performances since recording 20 in 2015.
- The all-time series between the Aztecs and Bulldogs is now tied at 100-100.
- SDSU falls to 38-10 in its last 48 games following a loss.
SDSU looks to even the series tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. RHP Justin Goossen-Brown (3-0, 4.13 ERA) is scheduled to start for SDSU against Fresno State's LHP Nikoh Mitchell (1-3, 6.84 ERA).