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Sanford throws 1-2/3 innings in SDSU debut

Shawn Sanford, who played for Fallbrook High School’s baseball team from 2004 to 2007 and on the Palomar College team in 2008 and 2009, made his San Diego State University pitching debut Feb. 20 at Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego.

Sanford threw 1 2/3 innings in the first game of the Aztecs’ doubleheader against Oklahoma. He retired both batters he faced in the top of the sixth but allowed four hits, a walk, and two runs (one of which was unearned) in the seventh inning. Sanford picked off two batters in the seventh inning, although one was able to advance on a subsequent throwing error.

“It was okay. I struggled a little bit, but it was a fun experience being out there in front of the fans,” Sanford said. “Hopefully I’ll get into another one soon.”

Sanford was San Diego State’s third pitcher of the sixth inning. The previous two pitchers had allowed 10 of 11 Oklahoma batters to reach base, and the Sooners had already scored nine runs to take a 10-5 lead. The left-handed Sanford relieved right-hander Kegan Sharp with one out and Caleb Bushyhead on second base following his three-run double.

Oklahoma manager Sunny Golloway responded to the pitching change by pinch-hitting right-handed Drew Harrison for left-handed batter Cody Reine, who himself had pinch-hit for catcher Bryan Groth. Sanford’s first pitch to Harrison was a called strike. The next two pitches were balls, but another called strike evened the count. Harrison hit the next pitch foul behind the first base dugout, and Sanford’s sixth pitch was hit to right

field, where Josh Chasse made the catch after struggling with the sun.

Sanford’s first pitch to Danny Black was also a called strike, and once again the batter took two balls and then a second called strike. On the 2-2 count Black hit a fly ball to center field, and Cory Vaughn made the catch to end the inning.

“We were down at that point, so I was trying to minimize the runs they had,” Sanford said.

The seventh inning went less smoothly for Sanford, who started that frame by walking Chris Ellison on four pitches. Sanford was able to pick Ellison off first base, but on the rundown first baseman Brandon Meredith’s throw was wild and Ellison was able to reach second. Sanford then threw a wild pitch to Casey Johnson on a 1-2 count, advancing Ellison to third.

Johnson hit the next pitch over the center field fence for a two-run home run which gave the Sooners a 12-5 lead. Garrett Buchele then singled, but Sanford picked off pinch-runner Max White. A pitch to Ross Hubbard hit Hubbard’s bat and landed in

front of home plate, where catcher Matt Parker fielded the ball and threw to Meredith for the second out. Cameron Seitzer then doubled to right field, and Ricky Eisenberg followed with a single to left field. Seitzer tried to score on the single, but left fielder Antonio Carrillo made a good enough throw for Parker to tag Seitzer for the third out.

Matthew McDaniel took the mound for the Aztecs in the top of the eighth inning. The Sooners ended the game with a 17-5 victory after scoring five times in the ninth.

In 2008 Sanford pitched in two games for Palomar College, earning the win in one of them, while also playing 24 games as the Comets’ right fielder and batting .283. In 2009 Sanford started seven games on the mound for the Comets and added five relief appearances; he had a 3-2 won-loss record and a 2.09 earned run average and was an honorable mention selection to the all-Pacific Coast Conference team.

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