SDSU baseball downs Cal State Fullerton 7-2, splits season series 1-1

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SDSU baseball downs Cal State Fullerton 7-2, splits season series 1-1

by Mayer Pohlod, Staff Writer

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SDSU baseball ended a four game skid against Cal State Fullerton, winning 7-2 in an overall solid game for the Aztecs.

The win puts the Aztecs at 13-30 on the season while the Tritons fall to 27-16.

Fullerton, ranked No. 17 in the country prior to the game, took an early lead after scoring once in each of the first two innings. In the first, a two out single off of junior lefty Dominic Purpura plated the first run of the game.

An inning later, sophomore third baseman David Hensley let a throw on an attempted steal of third go off his glove, allowing the runner to score and pushing Fullerton’s lead to 2-0.

However, that would be the largest and only lead they would hold the entire game.

“We’re gonna find a way to win the week,” head coach Mark Martinez said.

The Aztecs put two runners on in the first inning but were unable to cash in. After going down in order in the second, they finally broke through in the bottom of the third.

Sophomore outfielder Denz’l Chapman, getting his second start of the year, led off the inning with a triple that hit off the right field wall, just a few feet away from a home run. A walk and a bunt single later, sophomore shortstop Alan Trejo hit a sacrifice fly to give SDSU its first run of the game.

But they wouldn’t stop there.

After a foul out, senior Spencer Thornton, slotted at designated hitter rather than his usual left field spot, scorched a triple to right center field to bring in two runs and take the lead. A wild pitch later, the Aztecs came out of the third with a 4-2 lead.

“I got a little big that first at bat, and that second one where I hit the triple I was trying get a line drive and I ended up getting it pretty good,” Thornton said.

SDSU didn’t let the score stay so close though, scoring a run in the next inning and two in the one after that. Trejo hit another sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth, and in the bottom of the fifth the Aztecs loaded the bases with zero outs. Two more runs would come across on a fielder’s choice and a hit by pitch to extend the winning margin to 7-2, where it would stay until the end of the game.

“There’s no secret, a lot of us are from California and Fullerton has always been one of the best teams so any time you beat them it’s a nice confidence booster,” Thornton said.

In the teams’ only previous meeting, the Triton’s came away with the win 8-1.

The Aztecs used a bevy of pitchers in the matchup, six in total. Junior lefthander Marcus Reyes picked up the win after going three innings, the longest outing of any pitcher for SDSU in the game.

“It’s a major confidence boost right here,” Reyes said emphatically. “Now we can prove that we can beat a really good team. Obviously we’ve been struggling all year, but that’s a big confidence boost right there and hopefully we take it into the weekend (against Fresno State).”

The team was in accordance with Reyes in how the game affects their confidence, including Chapman.

“It’s a great start to the week, it kind of loosens us up, makes us feel good,” Chapman said. “It’s a big win against a good team… we gotta carry that into the weekend.”

Chapman has made the most of his opportunity so far. In his starts, he’s gone 4-8 with a triple, a stolen base and an rbi.

“It feels good to get out on the field again, and honestly I’m trying to go out here and have fun and not put too much pressure on myself. Just be a team guy and provide that spark for us.” Chapman said.

Chapman’s effort has been noted by Martinez.

“Chapman’s been biding his time all year long, working super hard. He’s rewarded from his hard work and determination. I’m very proud of what he’s done and he’s obviously earned some more playing time,” Martinez said.

This weekend, the Aztecs take on Fresno State, currently second in the MW. It’s the third to last series of the regular season for SDSU.

 

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