Sunday, May 17, 2015

UCLA's 4 home runs end Aztecs' season in rout

San Diego State's 2015 season came to a halt Sunday as the Aztecs were eliminated by No. 7 national seed UCLA in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional.  The Bruins hit four home runs against Aztecs pitcher Erica Romero en route to an 8-0 (6 innings) run-rule blowout.

It was the sixth run-rule loss of the season for San Diego State.  UCLA moves on to Super Regional play while SDSU's year closes with a 38-20 overall record and second-place finish in the Mountain West.

This one was all Bruins from start to finish, literally, as Danielle Spaulding homered to lead off the game for UCLA against Romero.  It was Spaulding's 19th of the season. But the Aztecs did a good job of escaping numerous early jams as the Bruins loaded the bases with just one out in each of the first two innings.

In the second, the Bruins added to their lead when Romero issued three consecutive walks, including one with the bases loaded.  Romero ended up going 5 1/3 innings, allowing the eight runs (all earned) on nine hits with five walks allowed.  The real problem were extra-base hits, including the four home runs, as more than half of UCLA's nine hits in the game went for extra bases.

Gabrielle Maurice hit a 2-run home run in the fifth to make it 4-0 and Kylee Perez hit her fifth round-tripper of the year to begin the sixth inning.  After Romero gave up a single to Allexis Bennett and a one-out walk, Stephany LaRosa hit her 18th home run of the season -- a 3-run shot -- as the lead ballooned to eight runs and the run rule went into effect.

San Diego State managed just three hits -- all singles -- against UCLA's Ally Carda.  The Aztecs' string of losses to ranked opponents continued.  San Diego State lost its 15th straight game vs. a Top 25 foe and finished the year 0-10 vs. ranked teams.  Over the past three seasons, SDSU is 1-27 vs. teams ranked in either Top 25 poll.  The lone win came early last season against Cal, which was ranked 23rd and 25th in the major polls early in the year before dropping from the rankings and finishing 23-29 overall.