San Diego State Wins 2013 MW Baseball Tournament Title 9-4
May 26, 2013
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FRESNO, Calif. - After No. 3 seeded San Diego State forced a winner-take-all matchup with regular season champions New Mexico for the Mountain West Championship Saturday night, the Aztecs came out with the hot bats Sunday afternoon at Pete Beiden Field to claim the 2013 Mountain West Tournament Championship and an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament with a 9-4 victory over the nationally-ranked Lobos.
SDSU (31-29) claimed its second Mountain West Championship in school history winning its fourth-consecutive elimination game behind 16 hits and a solid pitching performance that gave up only four runs and nine hits to the nation-leading Lobos in runs per game and hits.
The Aztecs were led by freshman Tyler France, who was named Tournament MVP, in this game and throughout the tournament. He led the tournament in batting average (.762), hits (16), RBI (8), and runs scored (9) and tied for the lead in homeruns (2). France has started all 60 games in his first year as an Aztec and went 4-for-4 with a home run, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored in the championship game.
San Diego State was first to get on the board as Jake Romanski (2-for-5, 3 RBI) picked up a RBI in the second inning to plate Tyler France from third base for the 1-0 lead. The Aztecs then loaded the bases with two outs when New Mexico starting pitcher A. J. Carmen walked two straight batters, but the Lobos got out of the inning when Danny Sheehan flied out to left field.
UNM (37-20) answered back in the bottom half of the inning when Jared Holley (1-for-1, 2 RBI) hit a liner to right center with two outs to score Josh Melendez (2-for-3, 3 runs scored) from second base and tie the game at 1-1. The Lobos then took their first lead of the game in nearly the same situation in the fourth as Holley sent Melendez home on a sacrifice fly, this time to center field, for a 2-1 UNM lead.
The Lobo lead wouldn't last long as the Aztecs struck back in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second, France stepped to the plate and recorded his 14th hit of the tournament, a new Mountain West Tournament record.
His double to right center pushed Ryan Muno and Sheehan across home plate. France then came home on a Matt Munoz (3-for-5) single to give SDSU a 4-2 lead. Another run was added in the sixth for San Diego State as Sheehan hit a single to right field to score the speedy Greg Allen from second.
After three scoreless innings, New Mexico finally broke through in the eighth to score two off of SDSU reliever Ryan Doran. Alex Allbritton (2-for-4) singled to right center scoring Luke Campbell, then Jered Meek doubled down the right field line bringing home Melendez. Allbritton, who represented the tying run, was thrown out at home plate by Munoz to end the inning with the Aztec lead cut to 5-4.
With momentum seeming to swing in favor of the Lobos, SDSU quickly put that notion to rest in the top of the ninth. The Aztecs scored four runs off of two home runs, a solo shot by France to start the inning and a two-run homer by Romanski, as well as a RBI double by Brad Haynal to seal the deal for SDSU.
The Aztecs pitching staff put together a combined effort to stifle the Lobos. Starter Philip Walby pitched five innings allowing five hits and two runs which earned the right-hander his second win of the tournament. Doran came on in relief to pitch three innings, allowing four hits and two runs. Closer Ethan Miller clinched the final three outs, sitting all three Lobos down in order.
2013 Mountain West All-Tournament Team
MVP: Tyler France, San Diego State
Greg Allen, San Diego State
Ryan Doran, San Diego State
Philip Walby, San Diego State
Tim Zier, San Diego State
Luke Campbell, New Mexico
Mitch Garver, New Mexico
DJ Peterson, New Mexico
Tyler Linehan, Fresno State
Designated Hitter: Seth Kline, Air Force
Relief Pitcher: Michael RoBards, San Diego State