Aztecs Hold Off Lobos in Thriller; Same Teams Play For Title on Sunday

May 26, 2013

FRESNO, Calif. - The resilient San Diego State Aztecs won their third-straight elimination game and second of the day on Saturday, coming back from an early three-run deficit with big hits and clutch pitching to defeat New Mexico 8-7 in the night cap of the 2013 Mountain West Baseball Championship at Pete Beiden Field.

The two teams, who met in last year's Mountain West championship game, will now meet at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday with an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament on the line.

SDSU (30-29) reliever Mike RoBards played the hero and magician on the mound in this game, and Aztec third baseman Tyler France continued on with his Superman performance in the tournament.

RoBards (4-1) threw 5.2 innings of relief to pick up the win, but it did not come without a lot of heartburn.

He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, escaped with just one run in the eighth and again left the bags full that inning. Entering the ninth with an 8-6 lead, he walked two batters and gave up a single to load the bases. He walked one run home to make it a one-run game before getting Chase Harris to ground into the game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

France went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. His solo home run to lead off the seventh inning gave SDSU a 7-5 lead. After France's homer, the Aztecs worked the bases loaded in the seventh and then got another run on a walk from reliever Hobie McClain, UNM's fifth pitcher of the game, to give SDSU a 8-5 lead.

There were 29 total hits Saturday night, 15 by San Diego State and 14 by New Mexico (37-19).

Aztec left fielder Matt Munoz went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. His three-run homer in the fifth gave the Aztecs their first lead of the game, 6-4.

DJ Peterson went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a first-inning home run that got New Mexico off to a hot start. Luke Campbell went 4-for-5 to help lead the Lobos. He drove in a pair and scored twice.