March 24, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The 21st-ranked University of San Diego baseball team held off a late UNLV rally to claim a 5-4 win Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game at Wilson Stadium.
With the win, the Toreros have now won seven consecutive games, improve t 21-9 overall and have claimed the three-game series with the Rebels. With the loss, the Rebels fall to 10-19.
After the Rebels had pulled to within one by scoring two runs in the eighth inning on a Keith Smith RBI single and a Blake Gailen RBI fielder's choice, the Toreros were forced to go to their ace closer, freshman AJ Griffin, to hold off the Rebels rally, and Griffin delivered.
Griffin got the first batter to ground out, the second batter to fly out, then he walked a batter on a questionable breaking ball that appeared to be a strike but was called ball four on a 3-2 count. The Rebels then sent Calvin Beamon to the plate, representing the winning run. Griffin didn't fold under the pressure as he struck out Beamon to record his sixth save of the season, tying him for 10th all-time at USD in single-season saves.
The Toreros again jumped out to a quick lead as they scored first, putting up one run in the second inning. The USD run came on a Kevin Hansen RBI single through the right side, scoring Daniel Magness, who had singled.
The Toreros then added to their lead in the third inning scoring three runs on three hits. Justin Snyder led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on Sean Nicol's single to center field. Jordan Abruzzo then hit a run-scoring double to left field, bringing in Snyder and moving Nicol to third. Shane Buschini then did the rest of the scoring damage with a two-run double to right center field to give USD a 4-0 lead.
The Rebels then scored two runs over the next two innings on a Rance Roundy RBI single and a Braden Walker RBI single to cut the Toreros lead to two at 4-2.
San Diego then regained a three-run lead in the top of the sixth inning as Abruzzo delivered a RBI single through the left side to score Snyder, who had singled moving the score to 5-2.
Offensively for the Toreros, Nicol led the way with his 4-for-5, one run scored performance. Abruzzo was also solid at the plate as he went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
Josh Romanski (4-1) picked up the win on the mound for the Toreros as he allowed two runs on five hits in 7.0 innings of work. Ryan Tabor (2-1) was saddled with the loss for the Rebels as he allowed four runs on 10 hits in 5.0 innings of work.
The Toreros and Rebels will conclude the three-game series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start at Wilson Stadium.