Saturday, May 25, 2013

Aztecs force winner-take-all game for MWC title

Mike RoBards
There wasn't much drama Saturday afternoon in San Diego State's 6-2 victory over UNLV at the Mountain West Conference Championship.

SDSU saved all that for its game later in the evening against New Mexico, where the Aztecs hung on for a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat 8-7 victory over the Lobos at Fresno State's Beiden Field.

It forces a winner-take-all game Sunday at 1 p.m., where an NCAA Regionals berth will be awarded to the winner. The game can be viewed online at

Matt Munoz
New Mexico (37-19) scored three runs in the first inning — two of them coming on D.J. Peterson's two-run homer — and it appeared the Lobos would have their way with the Aztecs, just as they did five of the six times the teams met during conference play this season.

But SDSU (30-29) battled back and took an 8-5 lead through seven innings — much of the damage coming on Matt Munoz's three-run homer in the fifth and Ty France's solo homer in the seventh. France had himself quite a day, going 6-for-7 in the two games with four RBI and four runs scored.

Ty France
Critical was reliever Mike RoBards getting out of one bases-loaded jam in the eighth, when New Mexico scored a run to cut the lead to 8-6, then doing it again in the ninth, when he walked in a run before the Aztecs turned a game-ending double play.

RoBards (4-1) went the final 5.2 innings in relief of starter TJ Kendzora, allowing eight hits and three runs with six walks and four strikeouts. SDSU had 15 hits against the Lobos, with Munoz collecting four hits to go with his three RBI. Tim Zier added three hits.

The Aztecs looked to freshman closer Bubba Derby to get them to the MWC finals. The right-hander made his first collegiate start in SDSU's elimination game against UNLV, getting the win against the Rebels. Derby (4-3) allowed two runs on five hits over five innings with five strikeouts and no walks. Ethan Miller went the final four innings, checking UNLV on three hits to get the save.

SDSU had 17 hits in the game, with three each from France and Danny Sheehan leading the way. Zier, Munoz, Jake Romanski and Evan Potter each had two hits.

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