Sunday, May 31, 2009

SDSU throws curve — Rasmussen starts vs. UC Irvine

IRVINE — As excited as San Diego State fans were with yesterday's 4-1 win over Fresno State, it seems the Bulldogs had barely been eliminated and everyone already wanted to know one thing:

Who is today's starting pitcher?

UC Irvine and Virginia were still getting loose on the field last night when that question was posed to SDSU coach Tony Gwynn. The answer was dependent on today's opponent. The candidates to start were senior Jon Berger and freshman Ryan O'Sullivan. Berger would start if the Aztecs were matched up against Virginia. UC Irvine plays small ball and Gwynn wanted someone who could field his position well if SDSU was to play the Anteaters. That meant O'Sullivan, the Aztecs' regular shortstop.

Virginia's 5-0 win over UC Irvine dropped the Anteaters into the loser's bracket, so expect to see O'Sullivan on the mound.

Not so fast. We get to the ballpark and the Aztecs have sophomore left-hander Craig Rasmussen penciled in on the lineup card. O'Sullivan has his back out at shortstop.

Rasmussen (1-1, 3.60 ERA, 14 BB, 11 BB in 25 IP), a Hilltop High graduate, has made 26 appearances in two seasons. This is only Rasmussen's second career start, the first coming Feb. 28 in an 8-3 win over University of the Pacific. He got the win, allowing five hits and three runs over five innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

UC Irvine will start right-hander Crosby Slaught (7-0, 4.56 ERA, 48 SO, 19 BB in 71 IP), who has started in each of his 15 appearances this season.

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