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Aztecs Fall to Air Force in Series Opener

Aztecs Fall to Air Force in Series Opener

SAN DIEGO – San Diego State was unable to match the power output of the visiting Air Force on Friday, dropping a 12-4 decision in the opener of a Mountain West series at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

The Falcons combined for seven extra base hits that night, including a pair of home runs, to increase their record to 22-25 overall and 14-11 in conference play.

After getting to within 6-4 in the fourth, however, the Aztecs were held off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, falling to 14-34 on the season and 8-17 in MW action.

With the score tied at 2-2, Air Force took the lead for good in the third when Zach Peters singled off Jay Thomason, who led off the inning with a single to right before advancing on a passed ball and a pop error in the deep. right field.

The Falcons increased their margin to 6-2 in the fourth when Chase Spencer was hit by a pitch with two outs and took second on a wild pitch before racing home on Sam Kulasingam’s triple to the right-center gap, while Thomason soon followed with a home run to immediate center.

SDSU responded with two runs of its own at the bottom of the frame, as Irvin Weems crossed the plate Sammy Kahler sacrificial fly, while Evan Sipe singled and then eventually scored Shaun Montoya beat the throw to the bag on a grounder to first base.

Montoya’s hit then kept the bases loaded Xavier González previously achieved via fielder’s choice, while Finley Bates took a walk.

However, Air Force starter Seungmin Shim was replaced by Gaines Estridge at this point, causing a flyout by Jake Jackson to prevent further damage.

Estridge (1-0) earned the victory after pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts to offset one hit, while Aztec starter Jacob Riordan (3-5) absorbed the loss after facing one batter to start the fifth.

The Falcons quickly gave themselves some distance with a five-run outburst in the sixth.

Spencer and Thomason contributed RBI doubles sandwiched around a walk to Kulasingam chasing reliever Garvey Rumary. However, Charlie Jones greeted new pitcher Evan Miranda with a three-run homer that curled over the fence to right, extending the visitors’ lead to 11-4.

Air Force provided the final margin in the ninth when Peters was hit by a pitch and later scored on Aerik Joe’s single through the right side.

Thomason and Kulasingam finished with three hits each for the Falcons, tying SDSU’s Weems for game-high honors, while Jackson totaled two hits in the loss.

Spencer scored the first of his three runs in the first inning after crossing the plate on Kulasingam’s RBI double to right. After a flyout and a strikeout, the Falcons moved to another marker when Kulasingam slid safely across the plate on a double steal after Jake Greiving was hit by a pitch.

SDSU responded in its own half of the frame when Bates hit a leadoff double to right field before racing home on Jackson’s sacrifice fly shortly after.

The Aztecs then tied the score in the second inning when Weems scored from third base on an errant pick-off attempt on an infield single to open the inning, followed by a pair of stolen bases.

San Diego State looks to rebound in its weekend series with Air Force on Saturday, May 11, when the teams face off at 6:00 PM PT. The Aztecs are expected to start as the reigning MW Pitcher of the Week Omar Serrano (4-5), while the Falcons will throw Dylan Rogers (4-5).