|Spartans' Late Charge Held Off By Nevada|
RENO, Nev. – San Jose State scored four early runs Saturday, but Nevada rallied to score five times and held off a late charge by the Spartans to win 5-4 in game two of a Western Athletic Conference series at Peccole Park.
Tom Jameson (7-2) nearly gave the Wolf Pack (29-21, 9-5 WAC) its second straight complete game effort on the mound Saturday by going 8 2/3 innings and giving up four runs on 13 hits with one walk and one strikeout. He shut out the Spartans for 6 2/3 innings after the second, scattering six hits, two of which came in the ninth to finally chase him.
SAN JOSE STATE’S LATE OPPORTUNITIES
San Jose State (21-24, 5-9 WAC) stayed alive in the ninth inning with a two-out single by Tyler Christian. Two hit-and-run attempts were squandered by foul balls before Jacob Valdez singled to left field to finally chase Jameson. Caleb Natov came in as a pinch-hitter and worked the count to 2-0 against Matt Gardner before grounding out on a close play, ending the game.
The Spartans got their fourth leadoff hit of the game in the top of the eighth looking to start a rally after falling behind in the previous half inning. But the threat ended after a fielder’s choice at second on an attempted sacrifice bunt, followed by a caught stealing.
WOLF PACK RALLIES FOR THE LEAD
Nevada got its first runs of the game in the third inning on a two-run single by Kewby Meyer, making it 4-2. The inning could have caused even more damage on the scoreboard, but Russo worked around two walks and two hits in the inning to escape with the lead.
The Wolf Pack would later tie the game, then take the lead, after Spartans starter David Wayne Russo exited. The sixth inning began with Mike Aldrete surrendering a leadoff double, then a RBI single to Carlos Escobar, Jr., making it 4-3. Later in the inning, Aldrete ran the count full with two outs against Jay Anderson only to see Anderson single to left field and bring in Escobar, Jr., to tie the game at 4-4.
Zack Jones (3-4) entered the game in the seventh and gave up three singles to the first four batters he faced, the last of which from Brooks Klein scored Meyer to give the Wolf Pack a 5-4 lead that would hold.
Russo got a no-decision in his start after allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five in five innings. Saturday was the 12th time in the Spartans’ last 13 games they have taken a lead in the first three innings, only to allow the game to be tied or fall behind.
SPARTANS JUMP OUT TO AN EARLY LEAD
For the second straight day the Spartans took a lead in the first three innings of the game, this time running out to a 4-0 advantage after two.
Valdez led off the game with a single in the first inning and stole second base two pitches later. Andre Mercurio followed with a single to extend his hitting streak to six games and give the Spartans runners on the corners with no outs. Nick Schulz grounded into a double play to score Valdez, putting the Spartans up 1-0.
Kalei Contrades gave the Spartans another leadoff single the next inning, followed by one-out singles from Kyle Gallegos and Ricky Acosta, the latter of which drove in Contrades for a 2-0 San Jose State advantage. Christian then doubled to left field, bringing in two runs and making it 4-0. It was the Spartans’ first base hit of the inning in the air after three ground ball singles through the infield.
Valdez extended the Spartans’ rally with his second base hit in as many innings, but the threat would end on another double play ball. San Jose State grounded into double plays in each of the first three innings of Saturday’s game. The team has hit into six double plays in the series.
Valdez finished Saturday going 3-for-5 with a run scored from the leadoff spot. He is currently on a six-game hitting streak with three multi-hit performances during that stretch. Christian went 2-for-3 with his 11th double of the year and two RBIs. Acosta also had multiple hits with a 2-for-4 day.
Klein led the way for Nevada with three hits (3-for-4), an RBI and a run scored. Meyer went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Meyer is now 5-for-9 in the series.
The series finale takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. at Peccole Park. Both teams’ probable starting pitchers are to be announced.
Nevada 5, San Jose State 4 (May 12, 2012 at Reno, Nevada)