Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wild games galore Tuesday; 3-way tie remains

We knew this was going to be a wild week.  And it was as good as advertised.  Thrilling games, bizarre finishes, blown leads.  Today had it all.  At the start of Tuesday, three teams were tied for the top spot in the race for the Mountain West title.  At the end of the day, all three (Fresno State, San Diego State and Colorado State) remained tied.  Each split a doubleheader, winning the first game and then blowing a lead in game two.

Fresno State 8, San Jose State 1
San Jose State 5, Fresno State 3
The Bulldogs were the closest to getting a sweep, but suffered another in a month-long series of heartbreaking defeats.  Fresno State easily won game one behind 3-hit performances from both Brenna Moss and Whitney Smith and a strong complete game from pitcher Jill Compton, who won her 17th game.  The 7-run victory represented the largest margin of defeat for the Spartans on their home field in nearly two years.  In the nightcap, Fresno State led 2-0 before San Jose State rallied to tie it in the fifth.  The Bulldogs quickly regained the lead in the sixth by a 3-2 margin and held it into the bottom of the seventh.  A walk-off, 3-run home run by Jessie Hufstetler won it, with Hannah Harris giving up the game-winning runs in the seventh for a second straight outing.  Fresno State out-hit SJSU in both games, holding a 22-14 lead in that category for the afternoon.  The Bulldogs committed a pair of costly errors in the nightcap, stranded seven base runners and ran themselves out of innings with some overly aggressive base running at times.  Fresno State's last five losses have all been decided in the game's final inning when the Bulldogs either led or were tied.

San Diego St. 9, UNLV 8 (8 innings)
UNLV 12, San Diego St. 9
Both of these games were wild affairs in Las Vegas.  UNLV rallied from three runs down in the bottom of the seventh of the opener to send it to extra innings, only to see the Aztecs rally for the victory.  In the nightcap, San Diego State stormed to a 4-0 lead, then saw the Rebels come back to tie it.  After the Aztecs regained the lead at 5-4, a 4-run bottom of the fourth by UNLV put the Rebels in front 8-5.  No lead was comfortable in this one.  Immediately after falling behind by three runs, SDSU responded with four of its own to recapture the lead 9-8.  From there, it was four straight Rebels runs for the final margin.  In the top of the seventh, the Aztecs loaded the bases and brought the potential game-winning run to the plate, but Amanda Oliveto (the third Rebels pitcher in the game) worked out of a jam.  Patrice Jackson hit two home runs in the contest, giving her 15 for the season.  Reigning MW Player of the Week Emily Haslinger continued her home run barrage of late with another one.  Garie Blando had five hits for UNLV in the nightcap.

Colorado State 6, New Mexico 0
New Mexico 6, Colorado State 3
The Lobos picked up their second road win in conference play by taking the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader, snapping the Rams' 11-game home winning streak in Fort Collins.  After easily dispatching of the Lobos in game one behind Holly Reinke's third shutout of the season, the Rams were held in check by Carrie Sheehan in the nightcap.  Colorado State built an early 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two, and appeared on its way to a sweep.  The Rams left 10 runners stranded on base and were out-hit by UNM nine to six in game two.  Mariah Rimmer had three hits, and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle in the nightcap. Naomi Tellez had a pair of hits and RBI.

Boise State 5, Utah State 1
Utah State 6, Boise State 5 (suspended, rain)
The Broncos won game one of Tuesday's scheduled doubleheader, but were trailing the host Aggies in the third inning of game two before lightning and rain came.  The game was suspended and will resume where it was left off on noon Wednesday.  The final game of the 3-game series will take place after the conclusion of the resumed game.  The opener was a tight pitcher's duel until the seventh.  Starters Rebecca Patton (Boise State) and Noelle Johnson (Utah State) were locked in a 1-0 game with the Broncos leading.  It remained that way until the seventh when BSU opened it up with four runs.  A Brittany McCray homer in the seventh got the Broncos started, and Tara Glover added a 2-run triple.  Johnson homered in the bottom of the frame for the Aggies' lone run.