Aztecs-Bulldogs all-time series enters rubber game tomorrow even at 99-99
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
April 22, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego State baseball team fell on Saturday night, 7-4, as the series with Fresno State stands even heading into tomorrow's rubber game. The Aztecs stand at 25-14 with a 9-7 league record -- still good for second place in the Mountain West -- while Fresno State leaps to 23-15 with a 9-11 league record.
Thanks to a pair of Fresno State errors, the Aztecs took an early 2-0 lead after Bulldog miscues allowed Matt Rudick and Chase Calabuig to score.
SDSU starting pitcher Garrett Hill allowed just one unearned run in the third before a Bulldog run scored on a 4-6-3 double play in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. Hill was able to limit the damage in the third inning, inducing a frame-ending groundout to strand a pair of runners in scoring position.
The Bulldogs took its first lead of the game in the sixth, using back-to-back base hits by Carter Bins and Jeremiah Burks to grab a 3-2 advantage. After Hill's departure, Fresno State grew that lead to 7-2, using a four-run, five-hit frame.
Despite being held hitless for 13 consecutive at-bats between the fifth to ninth innings, the Aztecs showed signs of a potential comeback in the ninth, with David Hensley and Jordan Verdon both working walks before eventually being driven on a Dean Nevarez RBI single and a Chad Bible bases-loaded hit by pitch, respectively. With the bases loaded and the potential game-winning run at the plate, Fresno State's Davis Moore was able to work around his control issues and halt any chance of an Aztec comeback, forcing Grant Mayeaux to pop out to shortstop to end the game.
The Aztecs were hindered by going 3-for-21 with runners on base and 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Hill was dealt the loss despite turning in a quality start, allowing just two earned runs on six hits over six innings pitched while striking out five. Casey O'Sullivan posted a strong performance out of the bullpen, scattering three hits over 2.1 shutout innings of work while striking out three and walking none.
- In addition to evening the weekend series, Fresno State evened the all-time series at 99-99. Should the Aztecs win tomorrow, Fresno State would be the fourth team the Aztecs have beaten 100 times, joining New Mexico (113 wins), Air Force (108 wins) and Utah (102 wins).
- The Aztecs fall to 13-5 when scoring in the first inning. As a team, the Aztecs are hitting .325 with 37 runs in the first inning -- the best totals out of any single inning this season.
- Chase Calabuig reached base in his 42nd consecutive home game after going 1-for-5.
- David Hensley and Julian Escobedo extended their in-conference on-base streaks to 15 games and 12 games, respectively.
- Dean Nevarez posted his second consecutive multi-hit performance, marking the second time this season Nevarez has logged multiple hits in back-to-back games. Nevarez leads the Aztecs with a 5-for-8 showing with a home run and three RBIs at the plate in the series.