Spartans Tie UCLA in Eighth, Fall in Ninth, In Season Opener

Feb. 19, 2017

Final Stats

Box Score SJ-UCLA Game 1 Get Acrobat Reader

LOS ANGELES - San José State baseball team erased a two-run deficit with a run each in the seventh and eighth innings but lost to UCLA, 3-2, in the first game of the season opening series on Saturday night.

Down 2-0, the Spartans (0-1) broke through with a run in the top of the seventh. Chris Williams (0-2, two walks, run) drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a perfectly executed hit and run by Kellen Strahm (1-3, walk). With runners in the corners, David Campbell (0-4, RBI) grounded to second, scoring Williams. 

SJSU had an opportunity to tack on more runs when Aaron Pleschner (2-4) singled and Kyle Morrison (1-3, two walks) walked to load the bases with two outs for Shane Timmons, last season's team batting average leader.  Timmons lined a shot to center that momentarily froze the Bruins centerfielder but he recovered to thwart the Spartans threat.

In the eighth, the Spartans tied the game up at two when Joseph Stefanki (1-3, run, walk) scored on a wild pitch from third.  Just like in the seventh inning, SJSU had a chance to add more runs when they had runners on second and third with two outs but Pleschner, who had two hits up to the point, grounded out for the last out of the inning.

The missed opportunities were costly when the Bruins (1-0) scored in the bottom of the ninth to win the game.

In the ninth, SJSU's Jaiden France walked Sean Bouchard to lead off the inning.  UCLA's Michael Toglia's singled to right field that Chris William misplayed, putting the runners at second and third.  The Spartans intentionally walked Nick Valaika to load the bases with no outs.

With the Spartan infield drawn in, Kyle Cuellar hit a bouncer to first baseman Timmons who threw home for the force out.  With the SJSU infield back in double play depth, Ryan Kriedler hit a grounder to second baseman Kyle Morrison, who stepped on second but the runner beat out the throw to score UCLA's winning run. 

Josh Nashed started for the Spartans going 5.0 innings and allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks.  Jake Swiech replaced Nashed and pitched two scoreless innings retiring all six batters he faced while the Spartans made its comeback.

Jaiden France (0-1), making his Spartan debut, followed suit to pitch the eighth and ninth innings, allowing two hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Bruins starter Griffin Canning kept the Spartans lineup in check not allowing a hit until Pleschner's single in the fifth.  Canning allowed just two hits over six innings and struckout eight Spartans.

The second game of the season opening series gets underway from UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. PT.  RHP Matt Brown gets the ball for the Spartans, while the Bruins send RHP Jake Bird to the mound. 

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