Feb. 22, 2009
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Saint Joseph's baseball team fell to San Jose State in both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. The Spartans took the first game, 5-1, before a four-run eighth inning sparked SJSU to a 7-4 win in the series finale.
"We're never happy with a loss, but the effort today was more consistent and more along the lines of what we're working towards," said SJU head coach Fritz Hamburg. "San Jose State is a good team, and we're looking forward to see how we respond to this."
In the first game, Saint Joseph's (0-4) took an early lead, but San Jose State jumped ahead in the third inning and scored a pair of insurance runs in the fifth to give the Spartans a 5-1 victory.
SJU center fielder Mike Coleman led off the game and was hit by a pitch before stealing second base. With two out, third baseman Mike Boyland ripped a single to left to plate Coleman and put the Hawks ahead 1-0.
San Jose State (4-0) tied the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Jacob Bruns. The Spartans went ahead in the third on a double and an RBI fielder's choice and would go on to add a pair in the fifth on a single and a sacrifice fly.
The Hawks had runners on the corners with one out in the top of the ninth, but a strikeout and a flyout would end the threat and the game.
Ryan Vander Tuig (1-0) got the win for the Spartans, pitching 3.2 inning of one-hit ball. Saint Joseph's freshman A.J. Holland (0-1) was tagged with the loss in his first collegiate game. He ceded five runs on nine hits in four-plus innings. SJU received solid relief outings from Quentin Farr (two innings, two hits, three strikeouts) and Ryan Kemp (two hitless innings) in the defeat.
Saint Joseph's nearly took the final game of the weekend set, but four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled San Jose State to a come-from-behind 7-4 triumph and a series sweep.
San Jose State put a three-spot on the board in the bottom of the second to stake starter Ryan Shopshire to an early 3-0 lead. A solo home run by Alex Sofranac put the Spartans up one and a fielder's choice by Jason Martin scored two more before SJU's Dominic Favazza got out of the inning.
The Hawks would claw back into the game in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs to take the lead. A leadoff walk by Brett Tiagwad chased Shopshire from the game in favor of Craig Broussard. Matt Barnathan greeted the righthander with a single to left center, and a fielder's choice by Joe Cook left runners on first and third with one out for Ryan McDonald. McDonald hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Tiagwad with SJU's first tally of the game. Boyland then reached on a throwing error, advancing McDonald to second. David Valesente drove in McDonald with a single through the left side before Drew Smith belted a double to right to bring both runners home and put the Hawks up 4-3. Trevor Gibson (1-0) entered the game for the Spartans and walked Ben Wendle before striking out pinch hitter Mike Plakis to end the inning.
The lead would hold until SJSU posted a four-spot of its own in the bottom of the eighth. After a pair of walks and a wild pitch, Doug DiSandro (0-1) was lifted in favor of Adam Rivera. An RBI single by Anthony Aguilera knotted the game and put runners on first and second with nobody out. After a bang-bang play at third on a sacrifice bunt, the Spartans loaded the bases for Martin, who singled in the go-ahead run. Craig Hertler drew a walk to make it a 6-4 game, chasing Rivera as Barnathan came in from left field to take the hill. The righthander got off to a good start, inducing an infield fly for the first out. Unfortunately, the Spartans attempted a squeeze play, sending all three runners on the pitch, which was a breaking ball in the dirt that got away from catcher Phil Pursino, allowing a run to score. Barnathan then notched a strikeout and got Karson Klauer to pop out to end the inning.
SJU then went down in order in the ninth, securing the sweep for San Jose State.
Favazza pitched five innings, giving up just one hit and three runs. DiSandro got the loss after being tagged for two runs on one hit and five walks. SJSU's Anthony Vega pitched a perfect ninth to record his first save of the season.
Walks were SJU's kryptonite in the nightcap. The four Hawk hurlers held the Spartans to just four hits but granted 10 free passes; four of those runners would go on to score, including two in the pivotal eighth-inning rally.
Saint Joseph's will return to the diamond on Friday afternoon as the Hawks will head to Norfolk, Va. for a four-game set at Old Dominion. First pitch for the first game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.