|Spartans Win Final Game Of Series Over Hawai'i|
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sunday it was the Spartans' turn to capitalize on their opponent's mistakes and turn them into a big inning.
San Jose State scored three runs in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie and win the final game of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series against Hawai'i, 6-4, at Municipal Stadium.
The Spartans got four hits as part of their fifth inning rally, but were handed runners in scoring position on two occassions thanks to an error and a passed ball. Matt Lopez and Michael Gerlach each had RBI singles, and Kalei Contrades brought home the Spartans' third run of the inning on a groundout.
"We grinded it out and scrapped out a win for San Jose State," said Gerlach. "4-2 (in WAC play) is a lot better than 3-3."
Gerlach led all hitters, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. It was his second multi-hit performance in the series and extended his hitting streak to four games. Lopez went 1-for-3 with an RBI to push his hitting streak to seven games as the Spartans racked up 11 total hits. Eight different Spartans got at least one hit and four different players scored.
Today, we really did a great job," said San Jose State head coach Sam Piraro. "Actually this whole weekend - Hawai'i has one of the best piching staffs in the whole country - we competed very well. Hawai'i is tough to beat. They are a tough, tough team."
SPARTANS SCORE EARLY AGAIN
The Spartans got on the board first for the third time in the series thanks to a first-inning Nick Schulz homerun that easily cleared the left field fence. It was Schulz's third homer of the season and third for the team. Trevor Podratz also homered for th Rainbows, a solo shot in the eighth inning.
San Jose State tacked on another run in the second for a 2-0 lead after Gerlach led off the inning with an infield single. Gerlach stole second and moved to third on a passed ball, then scored on Kyle Gallegos' RBI single to right field.
"That was one of our plans going into this game. We felt we had to be aggressive and take some chances," said Piraro. "We knew the pitcher was a freshman so we wanted to put him under a little duress. That was something we were trying to do and it helped us a little bit. We fought hard for our runs today, we really fought hard."
Hawai'i got both runs back in the following innings, getting single runs of their own in the third and fourth on a run-scoring double play groundout and an RBI single by Zack Swasey, respectively.
JONES SOLID FOR THE SPARTANS
San Jose State starter Zack Jones (3-2) went six innings and surrendered two runs, one earned, with nine strikeouts to just one walk while scattering six hits in the victory. It was the third time Jones has gone six innings this season, his career long for an outing.
Jones retired eight of the last 10 batters he faced with six of his nine Ks on the day.
"I liked how I got ahead of them on my fastball a lot, that was working for me today," said Jones, who was seeing his first action since Tuesday. "It's always good to have an opportunity to pitch, whether it's closing or starting. We didn't have the closing opportunity (in the series) so just be patient and save that energy for Sunday."
Mike Aldrete earned his second save of the season by getting the final two outs in the ninth inning. The right-hander got Collin Bennett to ground into a double play to end the game on the first pitch of the at-bat after walking Podratz.
The Spartans host Fresno Pacific at Blethen Field for a 2:30 p.m. game Tuesday before returning to WAC play Friday, Saturday and Sunday when they host Sacramento State at Municipal Stadium. The series begins at 6 p.m. Friday.