Horned Frogs fail to hold lead in final inning

With one out in the top of the ninth, it seemed like the Horned Frogs were going to escape the rubber match against the San Diego State Aztecs with a 1-0 win. But three hits and two errors later they were suddenly behind.

The Aztecs were able to turn those this and miscues into two runs and earn a 2-1 victory Sunday at Lupton Stadium.

“It’s tough for us right now to put a complete game together,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We’re finding ways to lose games. We’ve lost a lot of games like that this year.”

Schlossnagle said there is nothing wrong with his team mentally, but he is trying to find the right man to toe the rubber in the ninth inning.

“We have to figure it out or its going to be a long year,” Schlossnagle said.

Junior pitcher Eric Marshall was credited with the loss in relief after two runs, one unearned, in the last inning and a third.

San Diego State head coach Tony Gwynn said come-from-behind wins like this are important to a team as young as his.

“We came in here with the thought that if we could win two out of three that would be huge for us,” Gwynn said. “We know TCU has a good club, New Mexico is playing great and I think this is great for our conference.”

The lone bright spot of the game was from freshman starting pitcher Kyle Winkler. The freshman pitch seven and two-third scoreless innings, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out three Aztecs.

“I felt really good,” Winkler said. “I didn’t have my curve ball the first couple innings, but I was able to get out of some jams with my fastball, sinking it down and getting a couple ground balls when I needed them.”

The offense for the Horned Frogs mustered just four hits, two coming in the fifth inning when they scored their lone run, and no one drew a walk.

Schlossnagle said that was more a credit to San Diego State’s pitching than a lack of ability on his team.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Horned Frogs as they welcome the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks on Tuesday then host the Mountain West Conference leading New Mexico Lobos for a three-game series beginning Friday.

“They’re obviously the best team in our league, no question about that,” Schlossnagle said of the Lobos. “We better be ready to play or we’ll get our rear ends beat.”