Saturday, March 23, 2013

Aztecs' winning streak ends with 4-2 loss to UNLV

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- San Diego State couldn't take advantage of another fine performance by its starting pitcher, watching its four-game winning streak come to an end against UNLV in Saturday afternoon's 4-2 Mountain West Conference loss at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Aztecs junior right-hander Philip Walby (1-2) did not give up a hit through the game's first five innings and did not give up a run until the seventh. Walby allowed five hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts and three walks before Justin Hepner relieved him with one out in the ninth.

SDSU (11-12, 3-2) had six hits off three Rebels pitchers, managing single runs in the sixth and eighth innings. The Aztecs had their opportunities, but failed to convert in several situations. They left runners at second and third on three occasions and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position for the game.

Walby pitched to the minimum through five innings, walks in the second and fourth innings erased on double plays. He didn't allow his first hit until UNLV's T.J. white singled to left field leading off the sixth inning. But the Rebels (17-6, 2-3) turned a leadoff walk and a double in the seventh into a 2-1 lead. UNLV added an unearned run in the eighth and completed the scoring on Brandon Bayadi's home run leading off the ninth.

The Aztecs had several chances to grab control of the game, beginning with Greg Allen's single leading off the first. Allen moved to second base when teammate Jake Romanski walked. But a double play ended that threat.

In the fourth, Romanski doubled, Ryan Muno walked and they both moved up on a wild pitch. But UNLV got out of it on a short fly ball to right field and a strikeout.

SDSU finally broke through for a run in the sixth inning when Tim Zier led off with an infield single behind the second base bag, moved to second on a walk to Ty France and scored on Matt Munoz's double to left-center.

The Aztecs' lead was short-lived, however, with UNLV answering in the seventh. SDSU got one run back in the eighth, scoring on an infield out by Steven Pallares, but didn't do anything thereafter.

The teams conclude the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

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