BYU - SJSU Boxscore
STOCKTON, Calif. - The San José State University baseball team won a pair of games on Saturday, beating Northern Colorado 5-4 in the first game and BYU in the second game, 4-2, on the campus of San Joaquin Delta College.
Despite the challenges of having the round robin format games moved, due to rain, from San Jose Municipal Stadium to Stockton, some 80 miles away, the Spartans responded by winning three of the four games.
In the three-day round robin format games that was played from Thursday to Saturday, the Spartans beat BYU twice and split the two games against Northern Colorado to even its season record to 3-3.
SAN JOSÉ STATE 5, NORTHERN COLORADO 4
The Spartans (2-3) jumped off to a first inning 4-0 lead, even with the early first pitch at 10:00 a.m., against the Bears (3-6).
SJSU took advantage of two hit batters and an error along with hits by Kyle Morrison (1-for-3, R) and Joseph Stefanki (1-for-2, RBI) to knockout Northern Colorado's starter Ian Doughty (0-1) before he could get an out in the inning.
It was the start that the Spartans needed which was struggling offensively coming into the game. The four runs scored in the first inning was the most the Spartans had scored in any of the four previous games.
SJSU added another run in the third when Michael Breen (1-for-2, 2 RBIs) singled in Shane Timmons (1-for-2, RBI, 2 Runs) who led off the inning with a single, to put the Spartans up 5-0.
Spartans starter Matt Brown (1-1) pitched six strong innings allowing two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four to collect the win.
The Bears chipped away at the Spartans' lead, scoring a run each in the fourth and sixth innings against Brown. And against the SJSU relievers, Jackson Cunningham and Jaiden France, the Northern Colorado hitters got two more runs including a home run by Evan Johnson in the top of the eighth to close the gap to one run.
Holding onto a 5-4 lead in the ninth, Spartans head coach Jason Hawkins brought in Joseph Balfour to close out the game. Balfour retired the first two batters before allowing a double to Jack Pauley. With the tying run at second, Balfour got Brett Minnick to ground out to third to end the game to earn his first save as Spartan.
SAN JOSÉ STATE 4, BYU 2
In the second game of the day, SJSU beat BYU, 4-2, on a three-run home run by former San Joaquin Delta College star Chris Williams (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs).
With the Spartans down 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Williams (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs) belted one over the right field fence on the very same field he played on last season as a San Joaquin Delta College Mustang.
In the first seven innings, the Spartans offense could only muster a pair of hits, both by David Campbell (2-for-3) against Cougars starter Kendall Motes and reliever Bo Burrup, and trailed 1-0.
In the top half of the eighth inning, freshman pitcher Josh Zanger made his Spartan debut relieving Zach Wallace who retired all four batters he faced. Zanger allowed a home run to Brennon Anderson but struck out two batters to get out of the eighth with the Spartans trailing 2-0.
In the bottom of the eighth, pinch hitter Kyle Blakeman collected his first hit as a Spartan, doubling to right field. Kellen Strahm (1-for-4, R, RBI) drove in Blakeman with a double to cut the Cougars' lead to half, 2-1. Kyle Morrison (1-for-2, R, 2BB) followed with a single to left to put the runners in the corner for Chris Williams.
As a Mustang last season, Williams hit seven home runs before transferring back to SJSU where he played during his freshman campaign.
Williams took Cougar lefty Bo Burrup deep for a three-run dinger to cap off a four-run eighth inning for SJSU.
Josh Goldberg came in the ninth to shutout BYU to earn his first save of the season.
Zanger (1-0) got the win for SJSU with Burrup (0-1) taking the loss for BYU.
Spartans starter Josh Nashed had another solid outing, scattering five hits and no earned runs over 6.0 innings, to lower his season ERA to 1.64.
The Spartans play next on Monday, February 27 against Michigan at 5:00 p.m. PT. The game will be played at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif.