ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KOLO) The sixth-seeded San Diego State baseball team (20-36) used a walk-off grand slam to open up the 2016 Mountain West Championship with a 7-3 victory over No. 7 San José State (17-39) on Wednesday afternoon from Santa Ana Star Field, on the campus of the University of New Mexico.
With the victory San Diego State advances to face the tournament’s No. 3 seed, Nevada (33-22, 20-10 MW), in the third game on Wednesday scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
“There were some nerves going in but we settled down late,” said San Diego State head coach Mark Martinez. “Our guys are resilient and they responded great. Hopefully we can shake the nerves off and come back and win again.”
With a 3-2 Spartan lead going into the bottom of the ninth, SDSU took advantage of a leadoff walk by Spencer Thornton. The senior advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored off freshman Jordan Verdon’s double to left center, tying the game at 3-3.
Two intentional walks and a balk loaded the bases for the Aztecs, bringing sophomore Justin Wylie to the plate. He saw a 3-1 count before hitting his first career grand slam over the left field wall. Wylie paced the Aztecs at the plate with a 4-for-5 performance and four RBI.
Two scoreless innings started the game but SJSU took a 2-0 lead after scoring a run in the third and fifth innings. SDSU responded by tying the game in the seventh 2-2.
SDSU went to its bullpen often but freshman right-hander Harrison Pyatt claimed his first win of the season in relief, improving to 1-6. He allowed one run, off one hit while striking out one and walking one.
Starting sophomore right-hander Josh Nashed suffered the loss for the Spartans after surrendering seven runs, six earned, on nine hits in eight and a third innings of work. Sophomore Shane Timmons and junior Joe Stefanki led the Spartans at the plate, each going 2-for-3. Timmons finished with two RBI.
Live streaming of the 2016 MW Baseball Championship is available through the Mountain West Network (MWN) on TheMW.com and CampusInsiders.com. All live broadcasts are free of charge. Paul Loeffler, Robert Portnoy, Don Marchand and Chris Ello will call the games from Santa Ana Star Field. David Lombardi returns to the MWN broadcast team to provide color analysis and in-game features for a fourth consecutive season.