Saturday, March 7, 2009

SDSU bullpen keys 6-5 win over USD

San Diego State beats USD for the third straight day, taking a 6-5 win from the Toreros at Cunningham Stadium. USD scores five runs against SDSU starter Tyler Lavigne, who shut out the Toreros two weeks ago, but fails to score off the SDSU bullpen in the eighth inning after putting runners at first and third with no outs. Three SDSU relievers check USD on three hits over three shutout innings. It the fourth straight win for SDSU (7-5) this season against the Toreros (7-6). Lavigne (2-0) gets the win and Addison Reed records his fourth save.

It's Game 3 of the four-game series between San Diego State and No. 11-ranked USD at the Toreros' Cunningham Stadium. The Aztecs are going for their fourth straight win against the Toreros this season and seventh win in eight meetings dating to last year.

SDSU won the series opener 5-3 behind an 18-strikeout effort by Stephen Strasburg on Thursday and won 6-4 in 10 innings on Friday thanks to Cory Vaughn's walkoff homer.

USD sophomore left-hander Sammy Solis (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 9 SO/0 BB in 6.0 IP) returns to the mound after missing his last start with shoulder tendinitis. SDSU counters with Tyler Lavigne (1-0, 1.88 ERA, 10 SO/4 BB in 14.1 IP), who pitched a two-hit shutout against the Toreros here in the season's opening week as part of the MLB Urban Youth Academy Invitational.


1ST INNING — SDSU jumps on top 2-0, with Cory Vaughn's sacrifice fly and Brandon Meredith's single to right bringing in the runs. USD counters with a run in the bottom of the inning on James Meador's RBI single to right field to make it 2-1.

2ND INNING — The Aztecs add a run on Easton Gust's infield out to make it 3-1.

5TH INNING — USD's Austin Green scores from third when Haar hits into a double play. The Toreros knot the score 3-3 one batter later when Kevin Muno homers to left field.

6TH INNING — The Aztecs come right back, scoring three runs on five hits to make it 6-3. That will be it for Solis, who settles in after the second but isn't nearly as effective as he was in a season-opening win over Southern. In the bottom of the inning, Nicol leads off with a triple and scores on Sanchez's single to center. Sanchez scores one-out later on Zach Walters' sacrifice fly to center field to make it 6-5.

8TH — The Toreros keep grinding, getting a leadoff double by Chris Engell and an infield single by Green to put runners at the corners with no outs. SDSU goes to the bullpen for the second time, bringing in left-hander Craig Rasmussen. Pinch hitter Tony Strazzara strikes out swinging after getting ahead in the count 3-0. USD then tried squeezing in the tying run with Haar at the plate, but Rasmussen fields the ball and flips it with his glove to catcher Erik Castro who tags out Engell at the plate for the second out. Rasmussen has done his job. He hands the ball to Aztecs closer Addison Reed, who will be asked to get the final four outs. Reed starts Muno with two strikes and then gets him swinging on a fastball that tails outside to get out of the inning.

9TH INNING — Reed retires Chatwood on a fly to center, Meador on a strikeout, before Nicol drops a two-strike single into right field. That brings up the powerful Sanchez, who leads USD with three homers on the season. Nicol steals second on the first pitch to Sanchez to get into scoring position. It doesn't matter when Reed gets Sanchez to pop up to O'Sullivan at shortstop to end the game.

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