Aztecs Fall To UNLV, 5-4, In Final inning
May 6, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - UNLV scored four times in the final inning to come all the way back from a four-run deficit as it defeated San Diego State, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The win allowed the Rebels (22-27, 6-15 MW) to salvage the final game of the teams' weekend series after SDSU (22-27, 11-10 Mountain West) had taken the first two contests.
It was appropriate on Senior Day that a pair of fourth-year Aztecs helped stake their team to a 4-0 lead after five innings. Senior left fielder Chris Wilson's two-run homer in the bottom of the third gave SDSU a 2-0 lead. That homer came one out after Matt Muñoz's double.
The home side made it 3-0 with a run in the fourth when Tim Zier's two-out double brought home Muñoz from second after he had reached on a fielder's choice following Greg Allan's single. In the process Zier extended his current hitting streak to 20 games.
That lead appeared secure as Aztec starter Ryan Doran was shutting out the Rebels over the first seven innings, scattering six hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
UNLV began its comeback with a single run in the top of the eighth that came on two singles and a sacrifice fly. The visitors then had runners at the corners with two out, but Doran picked off the runner at first to end the threat.
In the ninth, Danny Higa led off with a home run to left field to close the score to 4-2 and sent Doran to the bench in favor of Greg Allan, who took the mound from his position in right field. Allan proceeded to walk the first two batters he faced and found himself with the bases loaded when Spirk's throw to second on a ground ball was dropped by Muñoz for an error. That brought sophomore lefty Mitch Bluman out of the bullpen with Allan returning to right field.
Bluman got a strikeout before a sacrifice fly by Mark Shannon scored the runner from third to make it a 4-3 contest with two out. Bluman was lifted in favor of Ethan Miller to face the right-handed hitting Trevor Kirk, who lofted a fly ball to short right field. Allen raced in and called for the ball, but it hit off his glove and dropped for an error as the tying run scored and left runners at second and third. Brandon Bayardi then delivered a single up the middle to score the fourth run of the frame and give the Rebels the 5-4 lead.
UNLV hurler Zack Hartman, who had come in relief in the fifth, then retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory and improve to 21- on the season. Hartman tossed 4.1 innings of shutout baseball, surrendering three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
SDSU's Greg Allan was charged with three unearned runs and took the loss to fall to 0-1. It was only Allan's second mound appearance of the season after he previously tossed one inning in the series finale at Air Force on April 29.
Allan had three hits to lead the Aztec offense while Matt Muñoz had a single, double and scored twice. SDSU had several scoring opportunities in the contest that went awry as it left a total of 12 runners on base in the contest.
Up next for the Aztecs is a trip to College Station, Texas, for a three-game series against ninth-ranked Texas A&M that gets underway with a contest on Friday, May11, scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. (CT) start.