LAS VEGAS, Nev. - No. 3 seed San Diego State defeated No. 4 seed UNLV Friday night at the 2012 Mountain West Baseball Championship, 15-9. The loss eliminated the host Rebels from tournament play, ending their season with an overall record of 26-31. Meanwhile, the Aztecs, now 1-1 on the weekend and 25-33 overall, will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. versus the loser of No. 1 seed New Mexico vs. No. 2 seed TCU.
Michael Cederoth (4-4) earned the win for SDSU after working four strong innings in relief. The hard-throwing freshman right-hander allowed just one run on two hits while striking out three and walking one. The loss went to Rebel freshman Zak Qualls (4-6) after he allowed five runs on six hits in four-and-a-third innings pitched.
The Aztec offense struck early and often during a wind-blown Friday afternoon that saw wind gusts reach speeds in the mid-30s. SDSU staked out a 7-0 lead after two innings. Leadoff man Greg Allen hinted at the offensive outburst to come when he led off the game with a homerun to right-center. In all, SDSU pounded out 13 hits, just one night after seeing its historic comeback versus TCU go for naught.
Despite being down early, UNLV didn't quit. The Rebels picked up four runs in the third to shrink the Aztec lead to three. After both teams posted a single run in the fifth, the Rebels' Mark Shannon blasted a three-run homer in the top of the sixth, knotting the game at eight apiece.
Undeterred, the Aztecs bounced back in their half of the sixth, plating four runs to once again take the lead at 12-8. The Rebels appeared to be on the verge of answering in the eighth. UNLV loaded the bases with no outs but only managed to bring home a single run, 12-9. San Diego State came back with three more runs in the eighth before setting down the Rebels 1-2-3 in the ninth and taking a 15-9 victory.