SDSU baseball snaps 3-game losing streak with 5-1 win over UC Irvine

by Mayer Pohlod, Staff Writer

After a tough weekend series against No.14 Texas Tech in which San Diego State baseball totaled just three runs in as many games, the Aztecs got back on track against UC Irvine in a 5-1 win Tuesday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

The win put SDSU at 11-23 on the season, snapping a three-game losing streak. The Anteaters dropped to 20-13.

It was the Aztecs’ second win of the season against UC Irvine, and goes as a season series sweep for SDSU.

After no runs crossed the plate for either team in the first, SDSU drew first blood on a one-out bomb over the right field fence by redshirt-senior designated hitter Spencer Thornton. A double and a flyout later, junior third baseman Andrew Brown hit a two-out single to increase the lead to 2-0.

The next half inning, the Aztecs tacked on two more on a sacrifice fly by redshirt-sophomore Tyler Adkison followed by an RBI single by freshman first baseman Jordan Verdon. Both RBIs came with two outs.

SDSU scored its last run in the followinginning on another RBI with two outs, this time a single coming off the bat of sophomore outfielder David Hensley to push the score to its largest margin of the game at 5-0.

Those five runs would be all that SDSU needed, as its pitching staff shut down the Anteaters until the ninth inning, when they scratched across their first and only run of the game.

“It’s a mental checkpoint for us, this is an important game for us,” head coach Mark Martinez said. “We didn’t play good baseball over the weekend (against Texas Tech), so it was important for us to come out and focus on every pitch and not get too carried away offensively, and I think we did a great job.”

In particular, junior left-hander Dominic Purpura had a fantastic outing for the Aztecs.

Purpura, who started for SDSU, went five innings and surrendering no runs while walking and striking out one. It was his first win of the season, and one that the Aztecs needed badly.

“I wasn’t trying to overpower them,” Purpura said. “… I think this was good going into the weekend to change our mindset. It’s not negative anymore.”

Up next for the Aztecs is a tough Mountain West road series against University of New Mexico. New Mexico currently leads the MW with a 14-4 record, while SDSU is second from the bottom. The first game starts at 6 p.m. Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.