Aztecs Lose Pitchers' Duel to Virginia at NCAA Baseball Regional
LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Virginia scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 deadlock and went on to defeat San Diego State, 3-1, Saturday night at the NCAA Regional at Lake Elsinore, Calif. The loss drops the Aztecs into the losers' bracket and they must now win three consecutive games over the next two days if they hope to advance to the Super Regional.
The game was a pitchers' duel from outset with neither team able to create any scoring chances over the first four innings. Both SDSU's Mark Seyler and Virginia's Brandon Waddell proved efficient in keeping their opponent's offense at bay.
San Diego State (41-22) got on the board first in the top of the fifth. Spencer Thornton reached on an error by the Cavalier first baseman and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Brown. A ground out by Justin Wylie moved him over to third and he scored on Alan Trejo's single past third base.
The Aztec lead did not last long, however, as Virginia's Joe McCarthy took Seyler deep over the right field fence with a solo home run in the bottom of the same inning. The homer was McCarthy's first of the season and tied the game at 1-1.
The Aztecs lost some of their momentum in the next inning when first baseman Steven Pallares, their hottest hitter and hero of Friday night's win, had to leave the game. With a runner at first, a line drive to third was snagged by Ty France, who threw to first in attempt to double up the runner. Pallares stretched for the throw and fell, colliding with the runner and receiving a cut on the forehead that required stitches. The good news is that he is expected to be available to play on Sunday.
The Cavaliers' (36-22) go-ahead runs in the eighth started with a walk, sac bunt and RBI single. Later in the frame with two out and a runner at third, an Aztec error allowed the second run of the inning to score to make it a 3-1 contest.
Seyler would be tagged with the loss as his record fell to 9-3 on the season. The junior right-hander departed the contest after 7.2 innings having allowed the three runs (two earned) on five hits with five walks and a strikeout.
Virginia closer Josh Sborz, who had come on in the top of the eighth, went the final 1.2 innigns and was credited with the victory to improve to 4-2.
Freshman Alan Trejo finished the night with a pair of hits and an RBI for the Aztecs, who ended the contest with a total of four hits.
SDSU's trek through the losers' bracket begins with a game against USC at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon (May 31). A win in that contest would force a re-match with Virginia at 7:00 p.m. A loss would mean an end to the Aztecs' 2015 season.