Jan. 21, 2005
(San Diego, CA) - The first 2005 Division I baseball game in all the nation was decided in the waning moments as visiting Cal Poly SLO defeated San Diego 8-6 Friday afternoon at USD's Cunningham Stadium. San Diego (0-1) rallied from an early deficit, benefiting from a three-run homer from preseason All-American catcher Jordan Abruzzo, but eventually fell to a Cal Poly (1-0) team that registered 15 hits.
San Diego gave junior starter Justin Blaine a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when sophomore second baseman Keoni Ruth, who went 3-for-5, scored on a two-out single by All-WCC senior Randy Curtis.
The Mustangs put up four runs in their half of the third inning, scoring on three singles, highlighted by a two-run hit off the bat of designated hitter J.J. Owen. With a three-run lead and threatening with two runners on, Abruzzo picked-off junior Bret Burgland on a snap-throw to second base and Blaine struck out Jimmy Van Ostrand to limit the damage.
With a large collection of professional scouts and fans looking on, Abruzzo then tied the game at 4-4 moments later, pulling a towering three-run homer over the right field wall. USD added two more runs in the bottom of the third when right fielder Shane Buschini singled in newcomer's Matthew Falk and Matthew Weston.
USD took a 6-5 lead into the top of the seventh inning, as Blaine gave-way to senior reliever Sean Warlop. Blaine would watch Warlop yield a leadoff single to Owen and hit Berglund en route to putting a pair of Mustang runners on with one out. Falk then came on to make his collegiate pitching debut for USD, giving up a game-tying single to Mustang senior Jon Marshall.
With the game still even at 6-6 in the top of the ninth, the Mustangs continued to pressure the USD defense, putting runners on base against sophomore right-handed reliever Josh Butler (0-1). A leadoff double and a hit batter, was followed by a bases-clearing single courtesy of pinch-hitter Sean Alexander and a misplayed ball defensively by Buschini in right field.
USD went quietly in the bottom of the ninth as Mustang closer Mike Bille earned the save. Cal Poly SLO lefty Frank McLaughlin (1-0) got credit for the victory, with SLO starter Jimmy Shull settling down to allow the Mustangs to rally.
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