San Diego State leaped into the top 25 this morning after taking two of three games from No. 11 San Diego, but there was still a chance the Toreros could bounce back and salvage a split in Monday’s series finale. USD sent highly touted freshman righthander Kyle Blair to the mound to stop the bleeding, and though he pitched well (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K), the Aztecs broke the game open against sophomore righty A.J. Griffin, who was so reliable a year ago. Of course, the three runs SDSU posted against Blair would have been enough to win it, because San Diego mustered just four hits and no runs over seven innings against Aztecs starter Jon Berger.
San Diego State got another strong offensive showing from Troy Hanzawa and Cory Vaughn, who combined to go 4-for-7 with four runs, two RBIs and a triple. At this rate, San Diego State might enter this weekend’s USD Tournament as the favorite; with No. 5 Missouri suffering its first loss Monday against Central Florida, the Aztecs are definitely the hottest team in the tournament field. The Tigers scored four in the top of the ninth to take a 9-5 lead, but bullpen stalwarts Greg Folgia and Scooter Hicks couldn’t get any outs in the bottom of the inning, and UCF scored five runs on six hits against the duo to steal a 10-9 win. It’s worth noting that righthander Ryan Allen threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief earlier in the game; he’s got the best arm in that bullpen, and he might wind up closing games before too long if Hicks continues to struggle.
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