Sunday, April 28, 2013

Aztecs take series against Fresno State with 4-2 win

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — San Diego State took advantage of solid pitching and defense and timely hitting Sunday afternoon for a 4-2 Mountain West Conference victory over Fresno State that gave the Aztecs the series at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

The victory enabled SDSU (22-21, 12-9) to move past UNLV (27-16, 11-10) into second place in the conference standings, five games back of first-place New Mexico (27-16, 17-4). Fresno State (14-27, 9-12) is tied for fourth with Nevada (9-12, 22-21). The top two teams in the regular season receive a first-round bye at the double-elimination MWC Tournament, which will be hosted May 22-26 by Fresno State.

The Aztecs took control early against the Bulldogs in the deciding game of the three-game series, building a 3-0 lead through four innings. SDSU opened the scoring in the second inning when Ty France's two-out double scored teammate Ryan Muno from first base. The Aztecs added two more runs in the fourth when Greg Allen and Tim Zier opened the inning with back-to-back singles and both eventually scored on wild pitches by Fresno State starting pitcher Tim Borst (1-2).

Fresno State made it a 3-2 game with single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings against SDSU junior right-hander Philip Walby. The Aztecs responded in the bottom of the sixth when Zier advanced to second on a two-base throwing error leading off the inning and later scored to make it 4-2 when Muno hit into a double play.

Walby (3-2) allowed two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and three walks.

Freshman right-hander Tyler Sapp relieved Walby with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and got out of the predicament with an inning-ending double play. On the play, Fresno State's Chris Mariscal hit a liner that SDSU shortstop Evan Potter dove to his right to snag and then flipped to Zier to double off the runner at second base.

The Aztecs escaped trouble again in the eighth inning with their defense. Right fielder Steven Pallares battled the sun before making a rolling catch at the warning track on a liner hit by Jordan Luplow. That saved a run. The Aztecs got out of the inning moment laters when Taylor Tempel hit a ball hard off the glove of France at third and ricocheted to Potter, who threw out Tempel at first base. Potter made another fine play in the ninth, ranging behind second base for a diving stop before throwing Brody Russell out at first.

SDSU sophomore left-hander Mike RoBards got the last out of the eighth and the first out of the ninth before freshman closer Bubba Derby came on to finish off the Bulldogs for his ninth save of the season.

The Aztecs return to the field Monday at 3 p.m. for a nonconference home game against the University of San Francisco before returning to the road for a three-game MWC series Friday-Sunday at Nevada.

New Mexico (17-4, 27-16)
San Diego State (12-9, 22-21)
UNLV (11-10, 27-16)
Fresno State (9-12, 14-27)
Nevada (9-12, 22-21)
Air Force (5-16, 12-30)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Aztecs respond to Fresno State challenge in 10-8 win

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — It is crucial for a team's success to answer back when an opponent has a big inning. San Diego State did that Saturday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the way to a 10-8 Mountain West Conference victory over Fresno State.

The Aztecs (21-21, 11-9) watched a four-run lead disappear in the top of the seventh inning when the Bulldogs (14-26, 9-11) chased starting pitcher Ryan Doran. Doran had allowed two runs coming into the seventh, but was charged with four more (three earned) in the inning before being relieved. Fresno State scored one more run to take a 7-6 lead before senior right-hander Ethan Miller could get out of the inning.

SDSU responded quickly, scoring four runs of its own in the bottom of the seventh to regain the lead. RBI singles by Steven Pallares, Matt Munoz, Greg Allen and Tim Zier keyed the comeback, giving the Aztecs a 10-7 advantage.

Miller (3-2) was credited with the victory. Freshman closer Bubba Derby pitched the eighth and nine innings for his eighth save.

SDSU opened the scoring in the second inning on first baseman Ryan Muno's second home run of the season. The Aztecs expanded their lead to 4-0 with a three-run third inning. Catcher Jake Romanski, Muno and DH Brad Haynal drove in the runs with a single, bases-loaded walk and sacrifice fly, respectively.

When Fresno State scored two runs in the fourth, the Aztecs responded an inning later with a pair of runs on singles by Muno and Haynal.

Munoz, batting leadoff, had three hits to lead the Aztecs' 13-hit attack. Muno had two hits and a game-high three RBI.

The teams conclude the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Junior right-hander Philip Walby is the scheduled starter for the Aztecs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Aztecs play host to Fresno State this weekend

SAN DIEGO, Calif — San Diego State looks to get back on track in Mountain West play this weekend when it plays host to Fresno State. The Aztecs took two of three games at Fresno when the teams met last month.

Here's a look at the series:
Fresno St. RHP Blake Quinn (2-1, 2.61) vs. SDSU RHP Michael Cederoth (3-4, 3.24), 6 p.m.

Fresno St. RHP Jordan Brink (3-1, 3.58) vs. SDSU RHP Ryan Doran (6-1, 2.40), 2 p.m.

 Fresno St. RHP Tim Borst (1-1, 3.92) vs. SDSU RHP Philip Walby (1-3, 3.75), 1 p.m.

The Aztecs are hoping to bring some momentum from Tuesday's 18-2 win over UC Irvine into this series, which could prove pivotal to the team's MWC regular-season hopes. SDSU is four games behind New Mexico and a game behind UNLV in the conference standings. ... Catcher Jake Romanski (.356, 21 RBI) continues to lead the team in batting, along with first baseman Ryan Muno (.337, 22 RBI), second baseman Tim Zier (.329, 28 RBI, 11 SB) and third baseman Ty France (.247, 3 HR, 22 RBI). The first 500 fans in attendance will receive Addison Reed replica jersey T-shirts.

The Bulldogs picked up more conference wins in a weekend than they had all season by winning five straight against Air Force (including two rescheduled from the teams' series at Colorado Springs). The victories position Fresno State to get back into the conference race. ... Outfielder Aaron Judge (.347, 7 HR, 22 RBI) leads the team on offense. Shortstop Chris Mariscal (.327, 17 RBI) and outfielder Taylor Tempel (.311, 8 RBI) are the only other two players hitting over .300. Catcher Austin Wynns (.289, 3 HR, 16 RBI), a Poway High graduate, is one of the other primary run producers.

New Mexico (14-4, 24-16)
UNLV (11-7, 27-13)
San Diego State (10-8, 20-20)
Fresno State (8-10, 13-25)
Nevada (7-11, 20-20)
Air Force (4-14, 11-28)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

UNLV completes Mountain West sweep of Aztecs

San Diego State was swept for the first time this season in Mountain West Conference play, the Aztecs' three losses at UNLV dropping them into third place behind the Rebels and first-place New Mexico.

SDSU (19-20, 10-8) lost 5-2 on Sunday against the Rebels (27-12, 11-7), who won the first two games of the series by 9-8 (in 17 innings) and 4-3 scores.

On Sunday, the teams were tied 2-2 through seven innings before the Rebels scored three unearned runs in the eighth to take the game and the series.

SDSU starting pitcher Philip Walby pitched into the eight inning, allowing 11 hits and five runs (two earned) with three walks and three strikeouts. UNLV starter Kenny Oakley went the distance, allowing nine hits, two runs (one earned), with three strikeouts and three walks.

The Aztecs return home this week, meeting UC Irvine on Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a nonconference game at Tony Gwynn Stadium before playing host to Fresno State in a MWC weekend series.

Fresno State is coming off a five-game sweep of Air Force (including two games moved to Fresno after weather postponements in Colorado Springs). New Mexico swept its series at Nevada, capping the sweep with an eight-run ninth in Sunday's 15-11 win.

New Mexico (14-4, 24-16)
UNLV (11-7, 27-12)
San Diego State (10-8, 19-20)
Fresno State (8-10, 13-24)
Nevada (7-11, 19-20)

Air Force (4-14, 10-28)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aztecs begin second half of MWC play at UNLV

Blue Man Group, Jersey Boys, Cirque du Soleil, Rock of Ages. ... There are so many shows to see in Las Vegas. This is a business trip for the Aztecs, however. They rolled into town a game out of first place in the Mountain West Conference as the second half of conference play begins.

Here's a look at the series:

SDSU RHP Michael Cederoth (3-4, 2.85) vs. UNLV RHP Erick Fedde (4-1, 2.98), 6:05 p.m.

SDSU RHP Philip Walby (1-2, 3.96) vs. UNLV RHP Buddy Borden (4-1, 2.12) vs. , 2:05 p.m.

SDSU RHP Ryan Doran (6-2, 2.54) UNLV RHP Kenny Oakley (3-2, 3.00), 1:05 p.m.

New Mexico (11-4, 21-16)
San Diego State (10-5, 19-17)
UNLV (8-7, 24-12)
Nevada (7-8, 19-17)
Air Force (4-9, 10-23)
Fresno State (3-10, 8-24)

SDSU leads the overall series 70-46 and has won 20 of the past 24 meetings, including winning two of three games when the teams met at Tony Gwynn Stadium last month. A 5-4 walk-off win in the series finale highlighted the weekend.

The Aztecs have boosted their team batting average to .261, led by catcher Jake Romanski (.369), first baseman Ryan Muno (.353) and second baseman Tim Zier (.317). The biggest run producers have been Zier (24 RBI), third baseman Ty France (22), Romanski (19), Muno (17) and center fielder Greg Allen (16). France has hit three of the team's seven home runs. The stolen base leaders are Allen (11) and Zier (10). ... If the team's .976 fielding percentage holds up it would break the school record .974 set in 2009. ... Sophomore Michael Cederoth has 25 strikeouts over his last two starts. Senior Ryan Doran has won four straight decisions since losing March 9 at Arkansas.

The Rebels come into the series after a 24-11 midweek victory against UC Riverside. ... The team's 10 home runs are split between Brandon Bayardi (.343, 7 HR, 27 RBI) and Mark Shannon (.331, 3 HR, 34 RBI). Other offensive leaders include Patrick Armstrong (.393, 18 RBI), T.J. White (.331, 23 RBI) and Joey Swanner (.323, 21 RBI). Shannon and Armstrong share the stolen base lead with nine apiece. White went 7-for-7 in the win over Riverside. ... Andrew Beresford has been effective — and fortunate — in a relief role, leading the team with five victories achieved in team-leading 12 appearances covering just 17.1 innings.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Doran's gem earns Aztecs series win over Air Force

Ryan Doran delivers into the ninth inning at the Air Force Academy.

San Diego State senior right-hander Ryan Doran has been consistently outstanding on Sundays for the Aztecs this season. Doran continued his run of excellence in an 11-0 Mountain West Conference victory Sunday at the Air Force Academy that gave SDSU the series against the Falcons.

Doran (6-2) allowed eight hits over 8.1 innings with a career-high nine strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore left-hander Mike RoBards came on after Doran allowed back-to-back singles with one out and induced a game-ending double play. The victory — coupled with a complete-game 4-2 win by Michael Cederoth (9 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 11 SO) on Friday — enabled the Aztecs to take two of three games in the series. Air Force won the middle game by a 10-9 score.

The victory solidifies second place for the Aztecs (19-17, 10-5) in the MWC, one game behind conference-leading New Mexico (20-16, 11-4). UNLV (23-12, 8-7), Nevada (19-16, 7-8), Air Force (10-23, 4-9) and Fresno State (8-23, 3-10) round out the conference standings.

SDSU broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the third inning, added two more runs in the fifth and one in the sixth for a 6-0 advantage. The Aztecs capped the day with a five-run eighth, which was highlighted by Ryan Muno's two-run single and Jake Romanski's two-run triple. Muno had a game-high three RBI and two of SDSU's 10 hits. Ty France also had two hits and two RBI.

Doran's most difficult moment came in the fourth inning, when Air Force loaded the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles. Doran got out of the predicament by striking out the side, however. That started a stretch of 13 consecutive batters retired by Doran before allowing a single in the eighth.

The Aztecs return to the road this week as they embark on the second half of conference play with a three-game series at UNLV that begins on Friday. The other conference series this week have New Mexico at Nevada and Air Force at Fresno State. The Falcons and Bulldogs will play a five-game series as they make up two games that were cancelled because of weather when the teams met earlier in the season at Air Force.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Aztecs share first in MWC after sweep of Nevada

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — San Diego State completed a three-game sweep of Nevada on Sunday afternoon with an 8-1 victory at Tony Gwynn Stadium that boosted the Aztecs into a first-place tie in the Mountain West Conference.

SDSU (17-15, 8-4) is now tied atop the standings with New Mexico (16-15), which lost 11-4 on Sunday to Air Force. UNLV (22-9, 7-5), which won two of three games at Fresno State, is in third place, followed by Nevada (17-14, 5-7), Air Force (9-21, 3-7) and Fresno State (8-20, 3-7).

SDSU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Nevada when Ryan Muno doubled home teammate Tim Zier, who had singled and moved to third base on a pair of wild pitches by Nevada starting pitcher Tom Jameson (0-6). Nevada tied the game 1-1 in the second inning, but that was all the Wolf Pack would get off SDSU senior right-hander Ryan Doran (5-2), who allowed five hits with seven strikeouts and four walks over 7.2 innings. SDSU's Ethan Miller came on to get the final four outs for the Aztecs.

The Aztecs took a 3-1 lead in the third inning, scoring two runs without the benefit of a base hit. Evan Potter struck out to start the inning, but he reached base on another wild pitch by Jameson. Potter stole second, then Greg Allen walked. Zier moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt before Potter scored on yet another wild pitch. Muno's infield out scored Allen.

SDSU right fielder Danny Sheehan short-circuited a Nevada rally in the sixth inning, fielding a flare by the Wolf Pack's Kewby Meyer that dropped in and throwing out Scott Kaplan trying to go from first to third. SDSU third baseman Ty France applied the tag for the inning's second out, then Doran got out of the inning on a foul popup to the catcher.

Sheehan followed his outstanding defensive play with a two-out, two-run  single in the bottom of the sixth that gave the Aztecs a 5-1 lead. Teammate Matt Munoz followed with a double to left-center, bringing Sheehan around to score. Evan Potter's single then scored Munoz to make it a 7-1 game.

Catcher Jake Romanski blasted his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the seventh off reliever Michael Bradshaw, to complete the scoring.

Doran was backed by solid defense throughout the game. In addition to Sheehan's throw in the sixth, Romanski threw out base runners in the third and seventh innings trying to steal second base. Second baseman Zier ranged wide to his left in the fifth inning, made a diving stop and lost his glove, but still gathered the ball and threw from his knees to get Kyle Hunt at first base. Munoz made a diving grab in left field to deny pinch hitter Shaun Mize of a hit leading off the eighth.

SDSU goes on the road Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game at Long Beach State before traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo., for a three-game Mountain West Conference series Friday-Sunday against Air Force.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Aztecs walk off with 5-4 win over Nevada

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — San Diego State scored a walk-off Mountain West win Saturday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium, beating Nevada 5-4 on catcher Jake Romanski's RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Romanski's heroics were made possible after teammate Ty France had tied the game 4-4 with his team-leading third home run leading off the eighth inning.

In the ninth, the Aztecs (16-15, 7-4) started the rally when Tim Zier was hit by a pitch with one out. Teammate Ryan Muno singled through the left side to put Zier in scoring position before Romanski's fourth hit of the game brought Zier home from second base and set off a celebration.

SDSU played catchup throughout the game. Nevada (17-13, 5-6) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before SDSU scored in the third on Greg Allen's RBI single up the middle. The Wolf Pack went ahead again with a run in the fourth inning with a run and scored two more (both unearned) in the sixth to make it 4-1.

The Aztecs made it a one-run game again in the bottom of the sixth, scoring on Steven Pallares' sacrifice fly and Danny Sheehan's single to left field to make it 4-3. The Aztecs finally drew even on France's homer.

SDSU starting pitcher Philip Walby pitched six innings, allowing seven hits with two earned runs, seven strikeouts and three walks. Reliever Justin Hepner pitched 2.2 scoreless innings before freshman closer Bubba Derby (3-1) was summoned to get the last out of the ninth inning.

Nevada's Tyler Wells allowed 10 hits and three runs over 5.1 innings before giving way to reliever Colby Blueberg, who kept the Aztecs off the scoreboard until France's homer.

Romanski's four hits led SDSU's 14-hit attack. Zier, Allen, France and Sheehan had two hits apiece.

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

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cederoth's 14K performance in 2-0 win over Nevada

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — San Diego State sophomore right-hander Michael Cederoth has said he enjoys being on the big stage when the stakes are high.

"I like pitching with pressure," Cederoth said coming into the season. "I enjoy the moment. I want the ball in the big situation. I love that feeling. It's like all eyes are on me. I guess that's an ego thing, but I enjoy every second of it. My best games are in front of bigger crowds."

Michael Cederoth
On Friday night, it was a bigger crowd of scouts.

Cederoth took the mound against Nevada junior right-hander Braden Shipley with a number of major league scouts in attendance to see Shipley, who is expected to be drafted in the first round of June's major league draft.

The scouts came away making notes about Cederoth for next year, when he becomes draft eligible.

The 6-foot-6 Cederoth picked the perfect time to pitch the best game of his collegiate career, outdueling Shipley in a 2-0 Mountain West victory for the Aztecs at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Cederoth (2-4) struck out a career-high 14 batters, scattered four hits and walked just one in eight innings. Shipley (4-1) also went eight innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. The difference was single runs he allowed SDSU in the first and third innings.

SDSU freshman closer Bubba Derby came on in the ninth inning to get the final three outs. Derby allowed a walk and a hit batter before settling down and retiring the next three hitters, the last two on strikeouts, for his seventh save.

The victory moved the second-place Aztecs (6-4, 15-15) past Nevada (5-5, 17-12) in the Mountain West standings.

Cederoth allowed just four singles — in the first inning to Austin Beyer, in the second inning to Tommy Niebergall, in the third inning to Nevada first baseman Brett Jones and in the seventh to Kewby Meyer.

The seventh was the only inning Cederoth ran into any trouble, a one-out walk to Brooks Klein and Meyer's single putting runners at the corners. Meyer was caught stealing for the second out, however, and then Cederoth struck out Nierbergall to end the inning.

Jones was the only player in the Wolf Pack starting lineup who avoided being a Cederoth strikeout victim. Cederoth, who never pitched to more than four batters in an inning, finishing strong with three strikeouts in the eighth inning.

The Aztecs scored in the first inning when Greg Allen came home from third base on Ryan Muno's sacrifice fly to left field. Their second run came in the third inning when Allen singled teammate Matt Munoz home from second.

SDSU and Nevada continue the three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Junior right-hander Philip Walby is scheduled to start on the mound for the Aztecs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Aztecs roll past Riverside in 10-2 win

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- San Diego State put together one of its strongest all-around games of the season Monday night in a 10-2 nonconference victory over UC Riverside at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

SDSU (14-14) collected 10 hits in the game, highlighted by sophomore first baseman Ryan Muno's first home run of the season. Muno and teammates Greg Allen, Jake Romanski and Steven Pallares each collected two hits. Muno had a game-high three RBI, while Allen and Romanski added two RBI apiece.

The Aztecs jumped on the Highlanders starting pitcher Antonio Gonzales (0-1) from the get-go. Allen led off the first inning with a double off the left-hander, then Tim Zier and Muno walked to load the bases. Romanski's single scored two runs and Muno later scored on a wild pitch to give the Aztecs a 3-0 lead.

SDSU added runs in the second inning, on a sacrifice fly by Allen, and in the third inning, with Muno again scoring on a wild pitch, and had a 5-1 lead after three innings.

Riverside (13-10) went to the bullpen with runners on the corners in the fourth inning and Muno greeted reliever Donovan Gonzales with a three-run homer well beyond the left-field fence for an 8-1 lead.

The Aztecs added two more runs in the seventh to complete their scoring.

SDSU sophomore left-hander Mike RoBards (2-0), making his third start of the season, was outstanding again in the weekday role, allowing one run and five hits over seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Junior right-hander T.J. Kendzora came on in the eighth and closed out Riverside on two hits and one run over the final two innings.

The teams conclude the home-and-home series Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Riverside. The Aztecs then return to Mountain West Conference play with a three-game series Friday-Sunday against Nevada at Tony Gwynn Stadium.