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MWC BB: Aztecs Upset TCU 12-11


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May 26, 2012
MW Conference

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The No. 3 seeded San Diego State Aztecs upset the No. 2 seed TCU Horned Frogs in an elimination game Saturday at the 2012 Mountain West Baseball Championship, 12-11. With the victory, the Aztecs earned the right to face top-seeded New Mexico in Saturday's late game.

Justin Hepner (5-3) earned the win after working an inning-and-a-third in relief. The sophomore right-hander allowed two runs while striking out two and walking one. The loss went to Kevin Allen (5-3). The junior allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning. He walked two and did not strike out a man. Offensively, SDSU saw three different players pick up three hits. Jake Romanski finished 3-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored.

The Aztecs staked themselves to a 4-2 lead after three innings before attempting to break the game open in the top of the fourth. Tim Zier and Chris Wilson opened the frame with back-to-back singles before TCU went to its bullpen. Stefan Crichton proceeded to walk Ryan Muno before Spencer Thornton delivered an RBI single to left, making it 5-2 SDSU. Then with the bases loaded, Jake Romanski coaxed a walk, forcing home the Aztecs second run of the inning. Jomel Torres and Seby Zavala followed with back-to-back RBI groundouts, making the score 8-2 San Diego State.

The Frogs didn't stay down long, however. TCU plated three in the bottom of the fourth, two of which came on freshman Derek Odell's two-run homer to right. The blast made it 8-5 Aztecs after four complete.

TCU plated one more in the fifth and the teams exchanged runs in the sixth, making it 9-7 Aztecs after six. The Frogs would break through in the eighth, tying the game with a pair of runs. With one out in the frame, Odell singled and Jantzen Witte followed with a walk. Both would ultimately come around to score; Odell on a wild pitch and Witte on a single to left by Kevin Cron.

San Diego State was unfazed, however. The Aztecs brought home three runs in the ninth, all of which came with two outs. Back-to-back walks to Zier and Wilson were followed by a catcher's interference call on Josh Elander to load the bases. Thornton then delivered an infield single, allowing Zier to score with Wilson following on a throwing error by Josh Gonzales. The Aztecs would plate one more and stave off a TCU rally in the ninth to pick up their second victory of the tournament.

San Diego State now takes on New Mexico in the 7 p.m. game Saturday. If the Lobos are victorious, they will officially secure the tournament championship. If the Aztecs win, the two teams will square off once more, Sunday at 1 p.m., to decide who wears the tournament crown.
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