One bad inning. Make that one really, really bad inning was all it took for the University of Utah to lose Friday's series opener with San Diego State.
A seven-run second inning lifted the Aztecs to an 8-3 victory at Franklin Covey Field.
"It kind of deflated us for some reason today," said Utah coach Bill Kinneberg. "If you're up by seven or down by seven early, the ball game is long from being over."
SDSU's scoring barrage began with RBI singles from Mike Willeford and Troy Hanzawa. Nick Romero then contributed a two-run hit to make it 4-0.
The Aztecs added three more scores after getting their second out — off singles by Brandon Glover and Garett Green, who knocked in a pair.
Trailing 7-0, Utah responded with some two-out scores of their own. Mike Mitchell's RBI triple was followed by run-scoring singles from Nate Burnham and Corey Shimada.
The deficit reduction was partially short-lived, however. SDSU scored on a wild pitch in the third to cap all scoring in the contest.
"We didn't attack like I thought we could have," said Kinneberg. "We scored the three and got back within four. We had more chances to score but didn't do it."
After the game, Kinneberg told his players they didn't play inspired baseball over the final five innings.
"That was disappointing," he said. "You can credit their pitchers, but we're better than that."
The Aztecs improve to 22-15 overall and 7-2 in Mountain West Conference play. The Utes, meanwhile, drop to 14-19 and 3-4 after their first conference game in 12 days.
The series continues through the weekend with 1 p.m. games.
Utah LHP Eric King (3-1, 2.79 ERA) and SDSU RHP Bruce Billings (3-1, 5.07 ERA) are today's scheduled starters. On Sunday, the Utes will pit RHP Brad DeVore (1-0, 4.64 ERA) against RHP Steven Hirschfeld (3-2, 4.21 ERA) of the Aztecs.