Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arkansas sweeps DH — and series — with Aztecs

San Diego State had to scratch and scrape for runs in the first two games of its four-game series at Arkansas. On Saturday, the Aztecs struggled much of the day just to get a hit in Fayetteville, Ark.

The No. 19-ranked Razorbacks won the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 8-2, with the Aztecs collecting just two hits at Baum Stadium. Arkansas defeated the Aztecs 4-1 in the second game. SDSU managed seven hits in that game, although, like the first game, the Aztecs required a ninth-inning run to avoid being shut out.

In the opener, SDSU (7-9) was still looking for its first hit through seven innings. Pinch hitter Mitch Bluman's one-out single in the eighth inning was the first hit for the Aztecs. SDSU's only other hit came on Tim Zier's single, which scored teammate Evan Potter to avert the Aztecs' second shutout of the series and fourth shutout of the season. Justin Gheorghe's infield groundout brought home SDSU's other run.

Arkansas starting pitcher Trey Killian (2-1) did not allow a base runner until he issued a four-pitch walk to Potter with two outs in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Zier reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning, but he was quickly erased when teammate John Spirk grounded into a doubleplay.

Killian struck out seven and walked one through seven before he was replaced by teammate Colby Suggs to start the eighth inning. Suggs retired Jake Romanski on a liner to left field to start the inning. Bluman then pinch hit for Ty France and singled to right field on a 3-1 pitch to break up the no-hitter.

SDSU starting pitcher Ryan Doran (2-2) allowed eight hits and three runs over the first five innings before Travis Pitcher relieved him. In the sixth, the Razorbacks expanded their lead to 8-0 when they scored three runs (two earned) off Pitcher and two more when he was replaced by Tyler Sapp.

Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn earned his 1,000th career victory with the win by the Razorbacks (11-5) in the first game of the doubleheader. Van Horn is the 65th coach to reach the milestone. Former SDSU head coach Jim Dietz (1,230-751-18) ranks 22nd in all-time coaching victories.

In the second game of the doubleheader, SDSU starting pitcher Ethan Miller had his finest outing of the season. Miller pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. The Aztecs turned to freshman closer Bubba Derby (1-1) in the seventh. Derby suffered through his first poor outing, allowing four runs on five hits in 1.1 innings to take the loss.

The Aztecs resume play Tuesday night with a game at UC Irvine before traveling to Fresno State for a three-game series to open Mountain West Conference play.

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