Aztecs lose to LBSU, move on to defeat Falcons facolns

by Alex Riggins

04_17_13_Sports_Baseball_Horizontal29_DMThe San Diego State baseball team went 2-2 last week, with an extra-innings loss to Long Beach State on Tuesday and a 2-1 series win against the Air Force Academy during the weekend. SDSU is now 19-17 on the season and 10-6 in the Mountain West Conference.

SDSU is second place in the standings—one game behind University of New Mexico.

On Tuesday, in Long Beach, the Aztecs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning and added one more run in the top of the ninth to lead 3-0 heading into the last half inning.

SDSU sophomore left-handed pitcher Michael RoBards, who hadn’t allowed a run throughout the first eight innings, gave up a double and single to start the ninth. Freshman right-handed pitcher Bubba Derby came in to relieve RoBards, but allowed two runners to score and gave up a run of his own, sending the game into extra innings.

Freshman reliever Tyler Sapp took the loss for the Aztecs when he couldn’t record an out in the 11th inning and ultimately walked home the winning run with the bases loaded.

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The cold weekend series in Colorado Springs, Colo. led to better results for SDSU, as the Aztecs took two of three games from the Air Force Falcons.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Michael Cederoth was dominant for his second consecutive Friday start, as the Aztecs beat the Falcons 4-2. After striking out 14 last week in a win against Nevada, Cederoth pitched a complete game against Air Force to earn his second straight win. He gave up just two earned runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out 11 batters.

On Saturday, the Aztecs rallied back from deficits of 5-0, 6-3 and 8-7 before taking a 9-8 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning. But the Falcons ultimately won the game 10-9 when Derby hit an Air Force batter with the bases loaded. The Aztecs scored walk-off victories twice this year at home when opposing pitchers hit Aztecs batters with bases loaded. On Saturday, they were on the losing end of that rare baseball walk-off.

Junior second baseman Tim Zier hit his first home run of the season and finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle in the loss. He finished the day 4 for 5 with a home run, triple, two runs scored and two RBIs. Zier raised his average to .317 after struggling a bit in the beginning of the season.

The 19 runs scored in the game were the second-most combined runs in a game for SDSU this season, behind the 20 runs scored in a 13-7 win against New Mexico. It was the most runs the Aztecs have scored in a loss this season.

On Sunday, the Aztecs stayed hot at the plate, while senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Doran shut down the Falcons’ offense in an 11-0 victory. Doran pitched 8.1 innings and didn’t allow a run. He gave up eight hits, two walks and recorded nine strikeouts.

Doran quietly produced the best season of any Aztec pitcher, including Cederoth. He leads the team with a 6-2 record, while his 2.54 ERA is second-best on the team and the best among the starters. He also has 45 strikeouts compared to just 16 walks.

The Aztecs travel to Las Vegas this weekend, where Cederoth will take the mound against UNLV, looking to win his third straight game in dominating fashion. The Aztecs will play three games in Vegas before returning home for five games.