|Spartans Fall In Game One To Hawai'i|
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sean Martin threw five shutout innings in relief Friday and the Spartans had four players with multi-hit games, but a five-run fourth inning was enough to carry the visiting Hawai'i Rainbows to a 6-4 victory in game one of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series at Municipal Stadium.
San Jose State starter Johnny Melero was almost out of the inning with two outs and two strikes to Garrett Champion, but two consecutive, two-RBI base hits put the Rainbows up for good, 5-2. They would pick up an unearned run to cap the scoring later in the inning on back-to-back errors by the Spartans.
"I thought we had one bad inning," said San Jose State head coach Sam Piraro. "We were almost out of the inning. We have a chance to get out of it. They get a big hit and then we make a couple of mistakes. We played error-free ball all night except for that one inning."
Melero (2-5) gave up all six runs, five earned, on six hits and one strikeout in the loss. Hawai'i's starter Matt Sisto (7-3) went 6 2/3 innings and gave up all four Spartans runs, three earned, on eight hits and a walk.
Sean Martin entered the game in the fifth and threw five scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out three.
"I was very happy with Sean Martin," Piraro said. "He came in and gave us five shutout innings, helped our bullpen out. That was big."
San Jose State (18-15, 3-1 WAC) got two hits each from Andre Mercurio, Nick Schulz, Matt Lopez and Michael Gerlach. Lopez has now hit in five straight games with four mulit-hit performances. Schulz has hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games with hitting streaks of 16 and five (currently).
"I thought our at-bats were pretty competitive. We didn't strike out all night long," said Piraro. "We put the bat on the ball, we had some good at-bats. We were still missing the big hit in a couple of situations. I thought our guys competed."
The Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Schulz. The team got three hits in the inning but were only able to push across one run. Hawai'i would tie it in the second with a solo homerun from Breland Almadova.
San Jose State then took the lead back in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice fly from Lopez. In all, there were three lead changes and one tie during the first four innings of the game.
The teams resume this weekend's series at 1 p.m. Saturday. Hawai'i's Jarret Arakawa and the Spartans' Esteban Guzman are Saturday's projected starters. The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m. in Municipal Stadium.