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March 23, 2012

Cal Poly Baseball Rallies for Split of Friday Twinbill vs. San Diego State

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS | NINTH-INNING RALLY

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Held to just one run and three hits in the first eight innings, Cal Poly erupted for five runs on four hits, two walks and a wild pitch in the ninth inning to turn a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 victory over San Diego State in the second game of a doubleheader Friday night in Baggett Stadium.

Senior shortstop Mike Miller (pictured at right) doubled over the head of Aztec left fielder Dillon Bryant to drive in the tying and winning runs for the Mustangs, who gained a split of the twinbill -- the Aztecs won the opener 10-4 -- and improved to 14-8 on the year. San Diego State fell to 10-13.

Aztec freshman right-hander Michael Cederoth struck out six in eight innings and held Cal Poly to one run -- Chris Hoo tripled and Denver Chavez's sacrifice fly scored Hoo in the fifth inning -- and three hits.

Bryan Crabb relieved Cederoth to start the ninth and gave up singles to Mitch Haniger and Jimmy Allen plus a walk to Nick Torres. Justin Hepner, who earned his third save of the season in the opener by pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings, came out of the bullpen again and surrendered a wild pitch for a run, a walk to David Armendariz to reload the bases and another walk to Chris Hoo to force in the second run of the inning.

Pinch-hitter Alex Michaels singled through the left side of the Aztec infield for an RBI, cutting San Diego State's lead to 5-4. Side-armer Mike Robards relieved Hepner and, after a short fly ball to right field for the first out, gave up the two-run double to Miller that capped Cal Poly's first walk-off win of the year. It was Miller's fifth hit in the doubleheader and his third and fourth RBIs of the day.

Cal Poly won for the first time in eight games when trailing after eight innings.

The loss went to Hepner (1-1) while Chase Johnson (1-2) picked up the win despite giving up two runs and four hits in the top of the ninth inning. Mustang starter Joey Wagman earned a career-high 10 strikeouts and allowed three runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings.

In the nightcap, Miller had three of Cal Poly's seven hits and Hoo added a triple. Miller has hit in 10 straight games and has reached base safely in 21 straight contests.

San Diego State, which outhit the Mustangs 12-7, was led by left fielder Chris Wilson with four hits, including a triple, and right fielder Greg Allen with three hits.

Wilson, the catcher in the first game for San Diego State, belted a pair of three-run home runs in the opener for the Aztecs, who let a 4-0 lead slip away and rallied again in the final three frames for the 10-4 victory.

Wilson, who entered the game with a .172 batting average, one home run and three RBI on the year, knocked in a total of seven runs and lifted his season mark to .219 with his two home runs and sacrifice fly. He had six hits and eight RBI on the day, finishing with a .297 average.

San Diego State, with head coach Tony Gwynn in the dugout for the first time this season, snapped a five-game losing streak with the opening-game win. Gwynn missed his team's first 21 games this season following mid-February surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his cheek.

Trailing 4-0, Cal Poly scored four times in the fifth inning. After loading the bases on two singles and a walk, Miller doubled down the left-field line to knock in two runs. Tim Wise grounded out to shortstop for the third run and Haniger singled up the middle to tie the game at 4-4.

The Mustangs had a chance to take the lead in the sixth, but Miller flied out to right field with two outs and the bases loaded.

Ryan Muno homered with two outs in the seventh inning to break the tie and San Diego State added five more runs in the eighth, three on Wilson's second three-run homer of the game. Seby Zavala contributed an RBI single and a wild pitch accounted for the other tally.

Cal Poly's 10 hits included two each by Miller, Allen and Chavez. San Diego State collected 13 hits, including two singles and a home run by Muno.

The Aztecs hit three home runs in their first 21 games this season and doubled the total in Friday's opener.

Mike Hachadorian (3-1), the second of three San Diego State pitchers, earned the win, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Hepner earned his third save with 2 2/3 scoreless frames on the mound.

Mustang starter Matt Imhof allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings with five strikeouts while Reed Reilly (2-1) suffered the loss, surrendering six runs, five earned, and five hits in three innings.

The two teams will play another doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. Senior southpaw Kyle Anderson (3-1, 1.39 ERA) and junior right-hander Kyle Brueggemann (2-1, 5.96 ERA) will start on the mound for Cal Poly.