The Mountain West Tournament could not have started much better for the Air Force, with first baseman Seth Kline drilling a two-run home run in the top first inning to get the last-place team in the conference a quick lead. But it didn’t take long before the Falcons took a predictable turn … it was the bottom half of the inning.
San Diego State took advantage of three errors – two on one play – to capture the lead and went on to a sloppy 15-6 victory in the first of two games on Wednesday at Beiden Field.
The No. 3-seeded Aztecs (27-28) will play No. 2 UNLV on Thursday at 3 p.m., while Air Force (15-38) will play in an elimination game at 11 a.m. against the loser of the game between Fresno State and Nevada.
In that first inning, Jake Romanski reached on a one-out fielding error by Air Force shortstop Matt Thorne. Tim Zier followed with a single to center and both runners moved up a base when Falcons’ starter Steven Trojan fired a wild pitch, low and away.
Ryan Muno then singled to right, driving in Romanski, and Falcons started throwing the ball all over the diamond and Zier and Munro ended up scoring.
San Diego State added four runs in the third, the big blow a two-run single by John Spirk. And it added four more in the sixth, three coming on a bases-loaded double by Muno.
Zier had four hits for the Aztecs, the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the lineup a combined 9 for 13 with six runs scored and seven RBI.
Phillip Walby went eight innings for the Aztecs, allowing nine hits and five earned runs.
San Diego State Coach Tony Gwynn, after the victory.