SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — San Diego State scored three times in the third inning and Garrett Hill and three relievers made them stand up for a 3-2 victory over Cal Poly in the rubber game of a three-game non-conference baseball series Sunday afternoon inside Baggett Stadium.
Hill (4-0), who tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings and scattered five hits, and the trio of relievers held off Cal Poly rallies in each of the final four frames as the Aztecs improved to 13-6 for the year.
Cal Poly, which scored two in the ninth but stranded seven runners on the basepaths over the final four innings, fell to 8-12.
Hill walked three and struck out five for the win. Jorge Fernandez, despite giving up two runs in the ninth, earned his fourth save.
The loss went to Mustang freshman right-hander Darren Nelson (2-2) as he gave up three runs (two earned) and seven hits over 4 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
San Diego State compiled 10 hits, including a single and double by first baseman Jordan Verdon. Verdon had five doubles and seven RBI in the series. Left fielder Matt Rudick and right fielder Chase Calabuig each added two hits.
Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs were held to just one hit over the first five innings and trailed 3-0 before producing rallies the rest of the way.
McKenna doubled, junior shortstop Kyle Marinconz walked and sophomore right fielder Bradlee Beesley singled as Cal Poly loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. After grounding a shot just foul down the third-base line, junior catcher Nick Meyer hit into an inning-ending double play.
Sophomore catcher Myles Emmerson and sophomore second baseman Scott Ogrin both singled with two outs in the seventh but were stranded. McKenna doubled leading off the eighth, but a strikeout, fly out and groundout dashed that threat.
Freshman third baseman Tate Samuelson and Barrick both singled to open the ninth and Emmerson walked to load the bases with nobody out. After a foul pop-up for the first out, freshman left fielder Cole Cabrera singled to right-center field for one RBI. McKenna's sacrifice fly to center field tallied the second run, but a fly ball to right field with runners at first and second ended the game.
In the Aztec third, Calabuig singled up the middle for one run and Verdon singled to right-center field for two more runs and a 3-0 San Diego State lead.
Cal Poly closes out a seven-game home stand Thursday through Saturday with a three-game series against Dartmouth (3-8). The Big Green lost three of four games at CSU Bakersfield this weekend and visit San Jose State on Monday and Westmont College on Tuesday before traveling to San Luis Obispo.
Photo above of Alex McKenna with one of his three diving catches in center field courtesy of Alexander Bohlen