SDSU Baseball allows seven in the fifth inning on way to 9-6 loss to Oregon State

by Zach Engberg, Staff Writer

San Diego State Baseball saw No. 6 Oregon State University return to form on Tuesday, as the Aztecs suffered a 9-6 loss to the PAC-12 power, splitting the two-game series.

The Aztecs (6-17) gave up seven runs to the Beavers (17-6) in the fifth inning, and despite mounting rallies in each of the last two innings, could not crawl their way back.

SDSU has yet to win three straight in 2016, but have won two consecutive games on two different occasions.

Despite the loss, morale in the Aztecs’ clubhouse has improved after challenging the No. 6 ranked team in the country in both games.

Head coach Mark Martinez talked about his team’s continual growth and mindset.

“We can’t worry about what our record is,” Martinez said, “and that’s what they’re doing. They go out and they’re competing on each pitch. The record will take care of itself, as long as we continue to get better each day with each play, and we definitely did that against an exceptionally good team.”

The Aztecs started fast, just as they did in game one of the series, by scoring three runs in the top of first inning.

Sophomore left fielder Tyler Adkison, who now has eight rbis in the last three games, smacked a three-run double to right center field with two outs in the opening frame.

The subsequent 3-0 lead would hold until the fifth inning, during which the Beavers exercised their frustrations that have built during four straight losses.

OSU plated one runner and got two more on base before the first out came, diminishing the lead to 3-1.

With two outs in the fifth, freshman infielder Nick Madrigal drove in two more runners to tie the game at 3-3.

One more Beaver would score on a single from sophomore first baseman KJ Harrison before a three-run home run off the bat of sophomore left fielder Christian Donahue, his second of the season, put them up 7-3.

“They did a good job of swinging the bat,” Martinez said of the fifth inning, “and we did a bad job of locating pitches. Simple as that.”

Sophomore shortstop Alan Trejo drove in one run in the eighth, as did redshirt-senior right fielder Spencer Thornton, to cut the deficit to 7-5, a similar situation the Aztecs faced on Monday night.

But a two- out, two-run triple from OSU junior shortstop Trevor Morrison put the game out of reach at 9-5.

To their credit, the Aztecs had three runners on base in the ninth, driving in one of them, to cut the deficit to 9-6, where it will stay in the record books.

Before the fifth inning, the Beavers had two hits against junior starter Cody Thompson (0-5).

But by the time Thompson left the game in that  inning, they had three hits and three runs, with a runner waiting on second, in the fifth inning alone.

Junior lefty Dominic Purpura came on in relief and struggled as well, as he was victimized for four runs — three earned — in 1/3 innings of work, all of which ballooned his earned run average to 8.79, a team high among pitchers who have appeared in 10 or more games.

Tyler Adkison is optimistic of his team’s standing after its two-game set with OSU.

“Overall, I think this team turned a new page,” Adkison said, “as far as playing baseball. We’re doing what we know we’re capable of now, and playing to our expectations.”