|Pinch Hitters Produce For Spartans In Loss|
RENO, Nev. - San Jose State got production off the bench Sunday, but Austin Byler's three-run homerun in the fourth inning was all Nevada needed as the Wolf Pack completed a three-game Western Athletic Conference sweep of San Jose State with a 4-2 win at Peccole Park.
The game was scoreless through 3 1/2 innings with both teams combining for just two hits and four total base runners in that time. San Jose State starter Kyle Hassna (2-1) retired eight of the first 11 batters he faced with one strikeout before he ran into trouble in the fourth.
Kewby Meyer opened the bottom of the fourth for Nevada (30-21, 10-5 WAC) with a single up the middle. A one-out infield single to shortstop by Garrett Yrigoyen gave the Wolf Pack two runners on base, setting up Byler's three-run shot.
SPARTANS GET PRODUCTION FROM SUBSTITUTIONS
Tyler Christian got a run back for the Spartans (21-25, 5-10 WAC) the next half-inning with a pinch-hit solo homerun, his second of the season, to make it 3-1. Both of Christian's homeruns this season have come as a pinch-hitter. Christian hit safely in all three of the weekend's games, going 4-for-9 with three RBIs, a double and a homerun.
Anthony Bona gave the Spartans another run in the sixth with a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single through the left side, making it 3-2. Bona has been hot lately as a pinch hitter. He has reached safely in five straight pinch hit appearances, going 3-for-3 with a walk, hit-by-pitch and three RBIs since April 24. Bona was 0-for-8 on the year before that time.
Nevada used six pitchers Sunday to hold the Spartans to two runs on six hits and one walk. Troy Marks earned the victory after pitching scoreless frames in the third and fourth to precede Byler's homerun. Matt Gardner got his 12th save of the season and second in the series with a perfect ninth inning, striking out Christian to end it.
Hassna gave up three runs on six hits, two strikeouts and two walks in the loss. Esteban Guzman got a strikeout and allowed one run in two innings of relief. Guzman relieved Hassna in the fifth inning with two runners on and one out, then got Meyer to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Kalei Contrades pitched Sunday for the first time since taking a loss in the bottom of the ninth at Louisiana Tech on May 4 and performed well. He threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 1.98.
The Spartans' next play Tuesday at home in a doubleheader against UC Davis at 1:30 p.m. The games, to be played at Blethen Field, will feature the resumption of the Feb. 21 game that was suspended due to darkness after 11 innings with the score tied 3-3. The nightcap will be a make-up of the March 17 rainout between the two teams.