|#10-Arizona Edges Spartans In the Ninth|
Tucson, Ariz. - San Jose State erased a four-run deficit on the road at #10-Arizona, but gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to fall, 8-7. The Wildcats were down to their final strike three different times in the ninth, and scored all three runs on a walkoff triple with two outs.
The Spartans took the lead for the second time in the game with a run in the eighth inning. Then added an insurance run for reliever Kyle Hassna in the ninth making it 7-5 with three outs to go.
Hassna entered the game with two out in the sixth inning and retired nine straight Wildcat hitters, including the first two in the bottom of the ninth.
After a fielding error on a sharp grounder to third and two consecutive walks, the bases were juiced for Wildcat hitter Brandon Dixon. Down to his last strike, Dixon laced one into the gap in right-center field emptying the bases for a game-winning triple.
"This was a tough loss for the guys," said Spartan head coach Dave Nakama. "Our team played well, but we couldn't close it out. You have to give our players credit for the way they battled back in this one."
Facing a 4-0 deficit, San Jose State came roaring back with a five-run fifth inning. The Spartans got on the board with an Andre Mercurio sacrifice fly scoring Ricky Acosta. Then Michael Gerlach stepped up and knocked in Matt Carroll and Richie Johnson with a single up the middle to make it 4-3.
Designated hitter Tim Quiery hit a game-tying single scoring Gerlach, and San Jose State moved ahead on Nick Schulz's RBI-double. A second hit for Schulz in the ninth inning extended his streak of multi-hit games to five.
Johnny Melero, in his second start for the Spartans, lasted 5.2 innings giving up nine hits and five runs for a no decision. Augey Bill pitched 2/3 of an inning in the ninth and earned the win for Arizona. Wildcat starter Konnor Wade went 7.2 innings giving up nine hits and six earned runs.
"That's why these guys are ranked 10th in the nation," said Nakama. "Now we have a challenge to come out here tomorrow and play well in response."
Game two of the three-game set between San Jose State (2-3) and #10-Arizona (5-1) is at 4 p.m. MST at Hi Corbett Field. Lefty David Wayne Russo (1-0, 0.00) will start for the Spartans against right-hander James Farris (1-0, 1.12).
Arizona 8, San Jose State 7 (Feb 22, 2013 at Tucson, Ariz.)