Late rally leads SDSU baseball to first win of season over UC Irvine, 4-2

by Mayer Pohlod, Staff Writer

In their opening series against No.14 ranked University Oregon, a recurring theme for San Diego State’s baseball team was fighting tooth-and-nail but losing in the late innings.

Against UC Irvine, it was time to flip the script.

A tie game at 2-2 going into the eighth inning, the Aztecs broke through, scoring two runs in the top half of the ninth to seal the win, 4-2.

It was a breath of fresh air for head coach Mark Martinez after the sweep last weekend.

“We feel like we have a really good team. That was our message today,” Martinez said.

“We had to learn a little bit about ourselves … we beat ourselves (against Oregon). We had to minimize mistakes, and the mistakes we did make, we overcame.”

That message included freshman Jordan Verdon, sophomores Justin Wylie and David Hensley, and redshirt-sophomore Tyler Adkinson coming through when the Aztecs needed it most.

Hensley doubled in Wylie in the top of the second to open up the scoring for SDSU, but Irvine tied up the score in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly. Verdon’s first homer put the Aztecs up again in the next half inning, and Irvine once again drew even at 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning.

It was in the eighth inning where SDSU finally saw it’s oh-so-needed outburst.

After a leadoff double by redshirt-senior outfielder Spencer Thornton, Wylie followed with a double of his own, and two outs and 90 feet later, came home on Adkinson’s single to put across the Aztecs’ fourth run of the night.

Four runs is all they would need, as redshirt-freshman Harrison Pyatt led the way with 5 innings of one run ball, including striking out four and walking none.

The win puts the Aztecs at 1-3 on the season.

The team’s next game is on Feb. 25 against University of San Diego. That’s the last game before the Tony Gwynn Classic, which starts on Feb. 26.