Aztecs Stay Alive, Defeat UNLV 6-2
May 25, 2013
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FRESNO, Calif. - Tyler France scored two runs and drove in another two to help San Diego State win its second-straight elimination game of the 2013 Mountain West Baseball Championship with a 6-2 victory over UNLV on Saturday at Pete Beiden Field.
The Aztecs (29-29) now advance to the Mountain West Championship series, where they will have to win two games over top-seeded and 13th-ranked New Mexico. The first game of the championship begins at 7 p.m. Saturday night. If the Aztecs beat the Lobos on Saturday, an if necessary game will be played on Sunday, May 26 at 1 p.m. PT.
France, who entered the game going 6-for-10 at the plate in the first three games of the tournament, reached base in all five of his plate appearances vs. the Rebels. He went 3-for-3 with two singles, a double, two RBI and was hit by a pitch twice.
The Aztecs got outstanding pitching performances from Bubba Derby and Ethan Miller. Derby started the game with a strong five innings, striking out five and scattering five hits while allowing just two runs. Miller replaced Derby on the mound in the sixth and threw four scoreless innings to pick up the save, his first of the season.
UNLV (37-20) was led by second baseman T.J. White, who went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.
San Diego State struck first in the top of the second with two runs. Left fielder Matt Muñoz led off the inning with a double off the wall in left. France followed with a single to center to bring Muñoz home and then after France stole second, Evan Potter singled up the middle with two outs to score France.
Back-to-back singles and then a walk to open the third led to more trouble for UNLV starter John Richy. He hit France with a pitch to bring home one run, but sparred himself of more trouble by getting Brad Haynal to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Meanwhile, Derby struck out four of the first eight Rebels he faced and gave up just one hit - an infield single to the nine-hole hitter Matt McCallister - his first time through the Rebel order.
White finally got to Derby in the fourth with a solo home run to left field to lead off the inning. After double from Mark Shannon, Joey Armstrong singled with two outs to plate Shannon and cut the SDSU lead down to 3-2.
France countered with a double to lead off the sixth. Haynal made up for his rally-killing double play in the third by following up France's double with a single to score him and give the Aztecs a two-run cushion.
SDSU added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth on RBI singles from Greg Allen and Muñoz.