With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the San Diego State baseball team was two outs away from sending Sunday’s contest into extra innings.
However, Utah had other plans.
Ute first baseman C.J. Cron stepped to the plate and hit a walk-off home run to give the Utes a 5-3 victory against SDSU at Spring Mobile Park in Salt Lake City.
“It definitely was not a good feeling when Utah came back to win it,” freshman infielder Tim Zier said. “It was a hard fought game on both ends and no one likes to come out on the losing part of it.”
The Aztecs fell behind early against Utah when Cron blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
After running into some trouble in the next inning, freshman pitcher Mitch Bluman was replaced by Ethan Miller. The sophomore pitcher allowed one earned run on five hits in 4.1 innings as the SDSU offense began its comeback.
The Aztecs scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth when freshman shortstop Evan Potter connected on an RBI double.
Two innings later, SDSU knotted it up at 2-2 after Ute pitcher Joe Pond issued a two-out, bases-loaded walk to senior third baseman Pat Colwell.
Pond was pulled prior to the start of the eighth after allowing two earned runs in seven innings of work. His replacement, Stephen Streich, didn’t fare much better.
He walked junior first baseman Jomel Torres and freshman outfielder Dillon Bryant before allowing junior designated hitter Ben Vasko to connect with an RBI double to give the Aztecs a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom half of the frame, Utah responded when the first batter of the inning, Shaun Cooper, led off with a triple. Cody Guymon then stepped to the plate and tied the game with an RBI single to right field.
Miller finished the inning without allowing another run, but sophomore pitcher Bryan Crabb would come in to start the ninth.
After getting the first out on a fly-out by James Brook, Crabb allowed Michael Beltran to single up the middle. Cron then sent him home with his two-run shot to right field, sealing a Utah victory.
SDSU will now prepare for a non-conference matchup with Cal State Northridge at 6 p.m. tonight at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
“We just have to keep working,” Zier said. “Not let this game affect the rest of the season.”