SDSU baseball opens conference play with 3-2 loss in extra innings to Fresno State

by Mayer Pohlod , Staff Writer

San Diego State baseball came into Friday with hopes of ending Fresno State’s nine game win streak to start the season as well as to right their own ship and get back on track.

Neither happened, though, as it fell to Fresno 3-2 in the 10th inning.

The loss puts the Aztecs at a dismal 1-9 on the season, while the Bulldogs made it 10 in a row to open the year with the win.

The offense didn’t struggle to put men on base, but rather to bring them in. While SDSU amassed 11 hits total, they left nine men on base, four of which were on third.

The scoring started early, with both teams trading runs in the first inning.

Fresno got on board after sophomore shortstop Alan Trejo bobbled, then threw away the ball, scoring their runner on second. The grounder would’ve been the third out of the inning, but instead was Trejo’s eighth error of the year.

The Aztecs answered back immediately, with sophomore second basemen Justin Wylie scoring sophomore outfielder Chase Calabuig after Calabuig singled, stole second and then took third on an error.

However, the scoring would largely come to a halt after that.

Only two more runs would be scored over the next eight innings.

SDSU took the lead in the bottom of the third after redshirt-senior outfielder Spencer Thornton hit an infield single with the bases loaded to score junior catcher CJ Saylo. 

But it would relinquish it right back to the Bulldogs in the top of the sixth after a pinch-hit single by sophomore infielder Torin Goldstein scored junior left fielder Jake Stone to make it 2-2.

That’s where the score would remain until extra innings, where in the 10th, Fresno center fielder Brody Russell got his third hit of the game to go over the left-center field wall for a home run. The Aztecs wouldn’t answer back in the bottom half, and the game ended at 3-2 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Not all was to be lost on the game, though, as the two pitchers for SDSU both turned in very solid outings.

Junior left hander Dominic Purpura started the game and went 3 1/3 innings and only gave up one run, none earned. In relief for him was junior right-hander Cody Thompson.

Thompson went 6 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking just one. While they still did lose the game, head coach Mark Martinez had high praise for both.

“Mission Accomplished. Purpura did a great job for us, and Cody Thompson pitched his tail off. He battled. He competed all night (with) one mistake,” Martinez said.

Even if the pitching keeps improving, it’s the offense that will be asked to step it up.

They’re averaging just 2.7 runs per game in the young season.

“The problem we have is we’re not scoring when guys are in scoring position. We swung the bats fairly well, but that’s been the story all year long: We’re not scoring runs when we have opportunities to,” Martinez said.

The Aztecs face the Bulldogs Saturday at 1 p.m. for the second game of the series.