Late Rally Lifts Spartans Past LMU To Even Series

Logan Handzlik recorded his second quality start of the season Saturday.
Feb. 27, 2016

Box Score

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Just when it looked like a quality start by Logan Handzlik and an early four-run lead were going to go for naught, San José State’s baseball team rallied for another four runs to capture an 8-5 win over LMU Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium.

With Saturday’s win, the Spartans (3-4) snapped a three-game skid and pulled even in the weekend series with the Lions (2-4).

Three batters into the home half of the first, the Spartans had their first lead of the weekend. Hunter Tidwell (3-3, two runs, walk) walked to open the inning, marking the first of four times he safely reached base. After a fly out, Brett Bautista (3-5, double, two RBIs) stepped to the dish and doubled down the right field line, scoring Tidwell.

In the second inning, San José State pushed across three runs off LMU starter Cory Abbott, all of which came after having two down and nobody on. Joe Stefanki’s (2-4, two runs) base hit through the left side followed by Aaron Pleschner’s hit by pitch and Tidwell’s infield single set the table for Josh Nashed (1-4, two RBIs), who smacked Abbott’s first pitch into right field for a pair of RBIs. Bautista followed up with a single and his second RBI of the day to give the Spartans a 4-0 lead.

Logan Handzlik held up his end on the mound. The junior right-hander mowed his way through the LMU lineup for most of the afternoon and finished with a final line of four hits, two runs, one walk and two strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work – his longest outing since April 6, 2014 against Nevada.

“He got ahead of hitters and he didn’t run counts. He got guys out early in the counts,” said head coach Dave Nakama. “I think that builds his confidence. He didn’t have to throw a lot of pitches.”

Handzlik was in line for the win when he departed with a 4-2 lead in the seventh and gave way to Josh Goldberg. In the top of the eighth, however, LMU tied it up at 4-4 on a line drive home run over the left field fence by Cassidy Brown.

The home half was all Spartans. David Campbell (1-4, double, run) led things off with a double to center, and Ozzy Braff (2-4, triple, run) moved him to third with a base hit to right. LMU made a call to the bullpen and brought in hard-throwing righty Michael Silva, whom Brendt Citta greeted with an RBI base hit through the right side.

Stefanki then laid down a bunt to move the runners over, but Lions third baseman Ted Boeke threw the ball up the line and into right field, allowing Braff and Citta to score. A Pleschner sacrifice fly brought Stefanki home with the Spartans’ eighth run of the day.

“We don’t do anything easy. They tie it up their in the eighth on a two-run homer with two outs. That was tough,” Nakama said. “I have to give our kids credit, though. They answered back and put up a four spot and closed it out.

“We took some good at-bats. The other thing is we didn’t strike out today and we got a few two-strike hits. That was big. When you don’t strike out and you put the ball in play, you put pressure on the other team.”

In the ninth, Graham Gomez worked through a rally-starting error to nail down the club’s third win of the season.

The series concludes with a 1:00 p.m. rubber match Sunday at Municipal Stadium.

San Jose State 8, Loyola Marymount 5 (Feb 27, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.)
Loyola Marymount.... 001 000 121 - 5 8 1 (2-4)
San Jose State...... 130 000 04X - 8 16 2 (3-4)
Pitchers: Loyola Marymount - ABBOTT, Cory; REDMAN, Blake(6); SILVA, Michael(8) and
BROWN, Cassidy. San Jose State - Handzlik, Logan; GOLDBERG, Josh(7); GOMEZ, Graham(9) and
Stefanki, Joe.
Win-GOLDBERG, Josh(1-0) Loss-REDMAN, Blake(1-1) T-2:31 A-405
HR LMU - BROWN, Cassidy (1).
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny
HANDZLIK faced 2 batters in the 7th.
REDMAN, B. faced 2 batters in the 8th.