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.

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