The Air Force Falcon baseball team was one out away from victory.
But Pat Colwell hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning and San Diego State rallied to a 5-4 win in ten innings in Mountain West Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Falcon Field. The loss drops the Falcons to 16-27, 2-14 and improved the Aztecs to 27-21, 13-7.
The loss spoiled a fabulous pitching outing by Air Force starter Alex Truesdale. Truesdale pitched nine strong innings keeping the Aztecs hitter off balance by hitting the corners with his fast ball and throwing his off-speed stuff for strikes. The sophomore right-hander allowed four runs, just one earned, to go with a career-high seven strikeouts in the loss. It was Truesdales third-consecutive start where he pitched into the ninth inning.
Truesdale’s only mistake came in the ninth, when Colwell hammered a belt-high changeup off the scoreboard in left to tie the game up. In the tenth, Troy Hanzawa led off with a double and came around to score on a single to right by Nick Romero for the game-winning run.
Addison Reed (3-1) shut the Falcons down over the final 2.2 innings to record the win in relief. Aztec starter Jame McLaughlin pitched 7.1 strong innings, allowing four runs, two earned, while striking out six.
Falcon reliever Michael Ruvolo (5-4) took the loss. Jason Griggs also saw relief duties, getting the final three outs in the tenth.
Both teams traded runs in the third before Air Force went ahead 2-1 with a run in the fourth. San Diego State put up two runs in the sixth off a Falcon error to go ahead 3-2. The Falcons tied the game up with a run in the bottom of the inning as Chay Derbigny manufactured a run. Derbigny reached first on a walk, stole second and got to third on an errant pickoff throw. He later scored on a wild pitch.
Derbigny was not done with his heriocs however. In the eighth, SDSU brought in Reed with runners on first and third. Derbigny laced the first offering from Reed right back up the middle, just inches from Reed, into center for the then-go-ahead run.
The Falcons had 10 hits on the day with K.J. Randhawa, Matt Alexander and Josh Meents getting two hits apiece. In addition, Nathan Carter tripled and Vai Schierholtz a doubled for AFA.
San Diego State had 11 hits in the game, with Hanzawa leading the way with a 3-for-5 day. Both teams struggled defensively again, as AFA committed four errors and SDSU three.
Air Force and San Diego State wrap up the three game series tomorrow, May 4, beginning at Noon MST.