May 8, 2009
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State junior Stephen Strasburg added to his credentials as one of the premier pitchers in the nation as he threw the first no-hitter of his collegiate career in SDSU's 5-0 win over Air Force Friday evening at Tony Gwynn Stadium. An all-time Aztec record crowd of 3,337 fans witnessed the contest which marked the right-hander's final home appearance of the 2009 season.
Strasburg retired the first nine hitters he faced, seven via the strikeout, before giving up a leadoff walk to Nathan Carter to start the fourth. After a fly ball out, Carter was erased attempting to steal before another strikeout ended the inning.
The Falcons' only other base runner on the night came on a second leadoff walk, this time to K.J. Randhawa to open the sixth. Although Randhawa would steal second later in the frame, Strasburg struck out the side to erase the threat. Including those three K's, Strasburg (11-0) would retire the final 12 batters he faced, striking out the side in the ninth to close out the contest.
Air Force starter Casey Allen, meanwhile, set down the first eight Aztec batters he faced before hitting Ryan O'Sullivan with two out in the third. O'Sullivan, however, was erased trying to steal second. Brandon Meredith recorded the first hit of the contest with a two-out single in the fourth, but was left stranded.
San Diego State (32-18, 11-8 MWC) finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth as Jomel Torres doubled with two out and Easton Gust followed with an RBI single through the left side to give the Aztecs a 1-0 lead.
SDSU added a pair of runs in the next inning when Pat Colwell walked and went to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Allen. He moved up to third on Brandon Decker's fly ball to right before Meredith drew an intentional walk to put runners at the corners.
Erik Castro then hit a grounder to Jon McMahon at third, but his throw to second was wide of the bag. Colwell scored on the play with Meredith coming home two batters later on Mitch Blackburn's two-out single to left.
The Aztecs got their final two runs in the eighth on back-to-back singles by Meredith and Castro, a double to left by Cory Vaughn and a safety squeeze off the bat of Blackburn.
Air Force's Allen, who went the distance on the mound, took the loss to see his record fall to 1-3 on the year. The result dropped the Falcon's to 14-32 overall and 3-13 in the Mountain West Conference.
Meredith, who had a pair of singles, was the lone Aztec to record more than one hit in the contest while Blackburn finished with a single and two runs batted in.
Air Force and San Diego State continue their three-game weekend series on Saturday (May 9) with a contest scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. (PT) start at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Prior to that contest, Strasburg will officially be presented with the Dick Case Award honoring him as USA Baseball's 2008 Athlete of the Year.