Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Aztecs end losing streak with win over Santa Clara

San Diego State employs sophomore center fielder Greg Allen in the leadoff spot to get things started, but Allen came up in a couple situations Wednesday afternoon that helped the Aztecs finish off Santa Clara 7-4 and end a five-game losing streak.

Greg Allen boosts his
batting average to .333.
Santa Clara won Tuesday's first game of the two-game midweek series 12-3, but Allen stepped up Wednesday with four hits and four RBI in the victory. His two-run single in the fourth inning gave SDSU a 4-1 lead. Allen had another two-run single i a three-run seventh inning that boosted the Aztec advantage to 7-1.

It was a lead SDSU (4-5) needed when Santa Clara (4-5) responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the eighth on a three-run homer by Matt Ozanne. The Aztecs put any thoughts of a Broncos comeback to rest when they brought in freshman closer Bubba Derby with one out in the eighth.

Derby walked the first hitter he faced, Casey Munoz, but then he struck out Zach Looney and catcher Brad Haynal threw out Munoz trying to steal second to get out of the inning.

Derby retired the Broncos in order in the ninth. He struck out C.J. Jacobe looking, then got Kyle DeMerritt on a grounder to third base before striking out Stephen Takahashi looking to end the game. Derby earned his third save of the season.

Ethan Miller picks up
his second win in relief.
SDSU collected 12 hits in the contest, with Jake Romanski (three hits) and Haynal (two hits, two RBI) joining Allen with multiple-hit games. It was Haynal's two-run double in the first inning — after singles by Allen and John Spirk — that staked the Aztecs to an early 2-0.

Senior right-hander Travis Pitcher made his first start of the season for SDSU, but was relieved with two outs in the second inning by senior right-hander Ethan Miller after Santa Clara had cut the Aztecs' lead to 2-1 and put two more runners on base.

Miller (2-0) struck out Kert Woods to end the second inning, then pitched four more shutout innings before giving way to junior right-hander Justin Hepner in the seventh. Miller allowed just three hits over 4.1 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.

The Aztecs return home for a three-game weekend series Friday-Sunday against Seton Hall at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Pirates are off to an 0-5 start following two losses to North Carolina and three losses to East Tennessee State. The first 500 fans at Friday night's opener will receive Tony Gwynn Jr. replica jersey shirts.

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