No. 3 SDSU Forces Sunday Championship Game With 9-1 Win Over No. 1 UNLV
LAS VEGAS – The Aztecs of San Diego State defeated the top-seeded UNLV Rebels on Saturday night 9-1 to force a Sunday matinee championship bout between the two schools in the finale of the 2014 Mountain West Baseball Tournament at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. Game time for the if-necessary game is set for 1 p.m. PT.
SDSU (41-19) rode the momentum gained from their ten-inning walk-off 3-2 victory over No. 4 Nevada in the first game on Saturday into the nightcap. Freshman lefty Brett Seeburger (4-0) went 8.1 innings and came up just two outs short of getting the Aztecs’ second complete game of the season. He threw 132 pitches to limit the Rebels to one earned run on seven hits to go along with six strikeouts.
“I really wanted to finish it off, but I reached the pitch count that coach gave me. Coach (Mark Martinez) told us that one loss doesn’t matter - we have done it before and we can do it again,” Seeburger said, alluding to last year’s SDSU tournament title on the final day.
Outside of tracking down seemingly any-and-all fly balls that enter the outfield, junior center fielder Greg Allen also stepped up on the offensive end to lead the Aztecs by batting 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Allen also pointed to the value of last year’s experience and the challenge ahead against the Rebels on Sunday.
“It’s a testament to our coaches and the guys we have on this team who lead us,” Allen said. “To be in this position before, last year, has helped us a lot and this is a spot we want to be in. To get two today was big, and beating them (UNLV) on any day is tough. They are a good ball club so we have to make sure to get ready.”
UNLV’s lone run of the game came in the bottom of the second inning as the Rebels (35-22) took the lead when junior designated hitter A.J. Hernandez hit an RBI single to second base that scored junior catcher Erik VanMeetren from third after having singled to lead off the inning.
Aztec junior catcher Brad Haynal continued to build upon his already impressive tournament resume as he finished 2-for-3 with a walk and one run scored.
Veteran Aztec second baseman Tim Zier officially picked up his 299th career hit to tie a school record in the top of the fourth to help his team to four runs in the inning.