SDSU rides big 6th inning en route to win over USD

No. 25 San Diego State entered their matchup on Tuesday night against the University of San Diego seeking to avenge a 10-inning, 3-2 loss that they had suffered to their inner-city rivals earlier in the season.

They ended up doing just that.

On what was a drizzly night at Fowler Park, the Toreros (9-8) scored the first run of the contest on an RBI single by cleanup hitter Brhet Bewley in the third inning. They added to the lead in the fifth inning on an RBI double by junior slugger Jay Schuyler.

Heading into the sixth inning, the Toreros seemed in control.

In the sixth, though, the Aztecs (11-5) broke through in a big way. San Diego State pushed across seven runs in the frame on only three hits, playing mostly small ball and capitalizing on a handful of Toreros’ miscues. After Matt Rudick drew a leadoff walk and David Hensley legged out a bunt single, senior Chase Calabuig came to the plate and dropped a bunt down. USD pitcher Anthony Donatella fielded the bunt and threw wide of first base, allowing a run to score and Hensley to advance to third. After Chad Bible was hit by a breaking ball to load the bases, Aztecs first baseman Jordan Verdon delivered the biggest blow of the inning. The junior smoked a double into the right-center field gap, scoring two and giving his team a lead that they would not relinquish.

Bible and Verdon would end up scoring on a sacrifice fly and wild pitch respectively. Later in the inning, the Aztecs added on two more runs via an error and fielder’s choice to take a 7-2 lead.

All in all, the Toreros committed three errors, walked three, and hit two batters in the frame.

SDSU (Dean Nevarez RBI double) and USD (Jay Schuyler RBI single) each ran across a run in the seventh to make the score 8-3.

The Aztecs stretched the lead to 9-3 in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Julian Escobedo. In the bottom of the ninth, looking to mount a comeback, USD loaded the bases with nobody out. However, Aztecs manager Mark Martinez brought in senior closer Jorge Fernandez, who quickly ended the threat. Fernandez induced a pop out and a double play to dash any hopes of a comeback.

In what was a 3-hour, 53-minute contest, the two teams combined to walk 12 batters (including five of the leadoff variety) and hit four.

Toreros 1B Jay Schuyler continued his strong start to the season, going 3-4 with 2 RBI, a walk, and a steal. His average is now up to .423. Junior 3B Brhet Bewley was the only other Torero with a multi-hit game, recording two hits and an RBI.

DH Chad Bible (2-4), 1B Jordan Verdon (2-4), and C Dean Nevarez (2-4) paced the Aztecs at the plate. On the mound, freshman right-hander Daniel Ritcheson earned the first win of his collegiate career.

For San Diego State, the 9-3 final was their fourth consecutive win at Fowler Park. They are 8-1 in their last nine games at USD.

What’s Next:

The Toreros open up WCC play this weekend vs. Santa Clara. The three-game series will be played at Fowler Park.

The Aztecs head to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo this weekend to take on the Mustangs in a three-game series.