San Diego State played its first home game in 16 days on Tuesday night, banging out 17 hits while Aztecs starting pitcher Mike RoBards and two relievers took care of things on the mound in a 12-2 nonconference victory over Long Beach State at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
"We swung the bats good tonight. We're making progress," said SDSU head coach Tony Gwynn, who collected his 300th career victory with the win. "Tonight was just carryover from the weekend (when the team won two games at Fresno State). "Our pitching's been good. We just have to score some runs.
SDSU (10-11) scored early and often against Long Beach State (9-12), building a 10-1 lead through five innings. By the time it was over, eight of the nine players in SDSU's starting lineup had at least one hit and the Aztecs had reached season highs for hits and runs.
SDSU right fielder Steven Pallares had a game-high three RBI. Second baseman Tim Zier had a game-high four hits while left fielder Matt Munoz added three hits for the Aztecs. Zier, catcher Jake Romanski and third baseman Ty France each drove in two runs.
Romanski and France both had RBI singles in the first inning off Long Beach State starter Eddie Magallon (0-1) to stake the Aztecs to a 2-0 lead. SDSU added a run in the second inning on a single by Zier and a run in the third inning on a single by DH Danny Sheehan.
Long Beach State scored its first run in the fourth inning to make it 4-1, but the Aztecs came right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a single by right fielder Steven Pallares and an infield out my first baseman Mitch Bluman.
Four runs in the fifth inning expanded SDSU's lead to 10-1. A sacrifice fly by France and a single to center by Munoz scored the first two runs. Pallares brought home the last two runs with a double to left field. It was SDSU's 13th hit of the game and the only one for extra bases.
The Dirtbags picked up an unearned run in the sixth inning to make it 10-2. SDSU added a pair of runs in the eight on RBI singles by Zier and Romanski to complete the scoring.
RoBards (1-0), a sophomore left-hander from Oceanside High, pitched into the sixth for the Aztecs. He allowed eight hits and one earned run with three strikeouts and one walk before Sapp came on in relief to get the final out of the sixth. Sapp allowed just one hit over 2.1 innings. T.J. Kendzora closed out the Dirtbags in the ninth.
The Aztecs resume Mountain West Conference play this weekend when they play host to UNLV. The series begins Friday at 6:05 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium.