The bitter taste from USD's series loss at Gonzaga over the weekend was washed away today with a 7-4 victory over No. 3-ranked UC Irvine at Cunningham Stadium.
USD catcher Nick McCoy got things started for the Toreros with a home run leading off the second inning. Teammate Chris Engell added three hits and Steven Chatwood had two RBI.
On the mound, USD's Matt Hauser (1-1) picked up his first win in relief of starter Scott DeNault. Darrin Campbell closed out the Anteaters for his first save.
It is an important midweek win for the Toreros, who are trying to build their resume for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament should an automatic berth escape them. Irvine (23-10) came into the game with an RPI of 7. USD (24-13) had an RPI of 24.
The teams meet again May 12 at Irvine.
A postseason get together is forecast in Baseball America's projected Field of 64 posted online today. BA's Aaron Fitt has UC Irvine hosting a first-round regional that includes USD, USC and Canisius.
The same article has San Diego State reaching the postseason and going to a regional host by Cal State Fullerton that includes Boston College and defending national champion Fresno State. In fact, the Mountain West Conference is projected to have an unprecedented three Regionals teams, with TCU and New Mexico joining the Aztecs. The MWC has never had more than one team — its tournament champion — selected.
The No. 15-ranked Aztecs (25-13) can expect to see their RPI — which was 25 — slip after tonight's 7-3 home loss to UCLA (14-19). SDSU had its biggest rally of the season last month at UCLA, scoring six runs in the ninth inning for a 10-6 win. UCLA — with an RPI of 98 — rallied tonight with five runs in the eighth to overcome the Aztecs.
UCLA's Gavin Brooks (Rancho Buena Vista) came on in the ninth inning closed out the game.