SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Junior righty Bubba Derby struck out 11 over eight scoreless innings to lead the San Diego State Aztecs to a 9-0 beating of the No. 20 Texas Tech Red Raiders to open their bracket critical series at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Friday night. Derby’s dominant outing improved his mark to 2-1 after he allowed only three singles to the Red Raiders’ lineup in the game.
San Diego State jumped on the opportunity and upped their mark to 15-3 while dropping the Red Raiders to 12-5 and 0-4 on the west coast. Sophomore right-hander Ryan Moseley allowed six runs, four earned, over five innings pitched in the loss that dropped his record to 1-2.
The Aztecs’ starting pitcher continued the remarkable pace that he has opened the season on, improving his ERA to 2.23, his WHIP to 0.96 and his strike-out-to-walk ratio to 7.8. Derby struck out the side in the sixth after opening the game retiring the first 11 Red Raiders he faced. The right-hander went on to retire six straight in the middle innings before sitting down the last five hitters he faced before giving way to the pen in the ninth with a 9-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Derby was facing Eric Gutierrez (Jr., 1B) with the Red Raiders first runner in scoring position after freshman right fielder Tanner Gardner singled and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Texas Tech was eyeing the opportunity to cut the lead in half, and maybe even tie the game if their pre-season All-American could club his first long ball of the season. Instead, Derby struck Gutierrez out hacking to end the threat.
The Aztecs would score four runs in the home half of the frame to bust the game open and swing the game momentum entirely in their favor while extending the lead to 6-0. Aztecs’ freshmen David Hensley (DH) and Chase Calabuig (RF) led the inning off with back-to-back singles and would both score on a double by another freshman, Alan Trejo (2B). Senior Steven Pallares (CF) would be hit-by-a-pitch and junior Danny Sheehan (SS) would walk to load the bases for all-American Ty France (Jr., 3B) who singled off the first pitch he saw to plate Trejo and Pallares to close the scoring in the inning..
The different results from the pre-season All-American at bats of Gutierrez and France allowed the momentum to swing completely in favor of the Aztecs.
Viva La France
France was in a hitting groove in the opener, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI to lead the Aztecs in that category. It was France’ fourth double on the year but pushed him above the 20 RBI threshold with 21 on the year to tie Pallares for the team lead. The leadoff man would be driven in twice by France on the day, the other time on a sac fly to add to his own team lead in runs scored to 25.
Gotta Set The Table
Texas Tech failed to get a single lead-off man on base in the game, going 0-for-9. Meanwhile the Aztecs put the lead-off man on base three times in the game. Each time the lead-off man scored as part of a multi-run rally for the home team. Pallares led-off the first with a single and then scored on a double-play ball. Hensley opened the fourth with a single and then scored on the Trejo double, who would draw a walk in the sixth and then would score on a sac fly.
The Aztecs were able to pile up the hits with runners in scoring position and with two-outs that combined to produce the nine-run output that downed Tech. With runners in scoring position the Aztecs got three hits, one of which was a double, three sacrifices while drawing a walk and getting hit-by-pitch twice. San Diego State also had five two-out hits. The Red Raiders had no hits with runners in scoring position and went 1-for-10 with a walk with two outs.
San Diego State sends hurler Cody Thompson (So., RHP) to the bump as he looks to improve to 2-0 and clinch the series for the Aztecs against a pitcher to be determined by the Red Raiders at 5:00 pm et on Saturday.