Friday, April 25, 2014

Aztecs' win gives Bulldogs the Mountain West lead

Three of four series began Friday, while the highly-anticipated Fresno State-UNLV series was pushed back a day because of rain.  Nevada snapped a 9-game losing streak, while Utah State held off a late New Mexico rally.  In the night's feature game, San Diego State routed Colorado State to knock the Rams from a first-place tie.  That left Fresno State standing alone atop the Mountain West standings entering Saturday's games.

San Diego State 10, Colorado State 2 (5 innings) - The Rams had early chances but couldn't come up with a clutch hit, and Holly Reinke struggled in a road thumping in San Diego.  Colorado State lost for the sixth time in its last eight road games, while SDSU won for the 18th time in 23 home contests.  CSU took a 1-0 lead in the first on a 1-out RBI triple by Chelsea O'Connor.  She was stranded at third base though, and that represented a problem throughout the night for the Rams, who had nine hits but left nine on base in only five innings.  San Diego State had 10 hits and scored at least two runs in every frame.  The Aztecs put four runs on the board in the bottom of the first against Reinke as five of the first six SDSU batters in the game reached base safely.  Reinke had a pair of early wild pitches, committed an error of her own and gave up eight hits and eight runs (five earned) in the first three innings.  Four Aztecs had multiple-hit games and Katie Mathis had three RBI.  Danielle O'Toole went the distance, scattering the aforementioned nine hits for the win.  Reigning MW Player of the Year Patrice Jackson left the game after three innings and was replaced in right field by Dominique Dinner.

Nevada 10, San Jose St. 1 (5 innings) - In a game played in cold, continuous drizzle and a 35-degree wind chill in Reno, the host Wolf Pack routed the Spartans.  The win was Nevada's first since March 30, with the Pack going 0-for-April until Friday's win.  In the bottom of the first, Amanda Weis hit a 2-out, 3-run home run, and it proved to be the only runs pitcher Karlyn Jones would need.  Jones scattered four hits against the Spartans, who have now lost five of seven.  SJSU, which was no-hit at home by Fresno State only 48 hours earlier, has scored one or zero runs in its last three defeats.  Nevada had 11 hits, eight against Spartans starter and losing pitcher Madison Fish.

Utah State 12, New Mexico 11 - In Albuquerque, Utah State again played without its top player -- Noelle Johnson -- and escaped with a road win.  The Aggies stormed to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, then nearly saw the entire lead disappear before regaining a 5-run margin late.  In the bottom of the seventh, New Mexico was down 12-7 before rallying and making things close.  Utah State starting pitcher Abby Indreland, who entered the game having won just once this season, intentionally walked Naomi Tellez with the bases loaded to force in a run and make it a 12-8 game.  It was a move that barely paid off.  Mariah Rimmer tripled to clear the bases and make it a 1-run game, but UNM stranded the tying run at third to end it.  Sarah Chow and Victoria Saucedo had four hits each for the Aggies.  Saucedo finished with four RBI, while Chow had two singles, a double and a triple.  Tellez finished with six RBI to lead the Lobos.