San Jose, Calif. --- The San José State baseball (6-6) team defeated PAC-12 opponent Utah, 9-6 in eight innings, Monday afternoon at Municipal Stadium to get back to .500 on the season. The Spartans set a season high 16 hits against the Utes.
Chris Williams had a career day going 4-for-5, scoring three runs, and recording an RBI. He also set a single game career high in doubles with two.
"The team is looking pretty good, but we have some work to do," said the senior right fielder who leads the team with five doubles. "This weekend, we have to come out ready to play against a good baseball team (Nevada)."
The game swung in San José State’s favor in the fifth inning when the Spartans scored five runs on six hits for an 8-2 lead.
In the Spartans' fifth, lead-off hitter Kellen Strahm (1-for-4, R, RBI) recorded his first triple of the season. Brett Bautista (3-for-5, R, RBI) singled to center field and drove home Strahm for a 4-2 lead. Chris Williams doubled to left center sending Bautista home. David Campbell (2-for-5, R, 2RBI) hit a two-RBI single to left field to bring home Williams and Shane Timmons (1-for-5, R). The last run scored when Strahm was hit by a pitch with bases loaded forcing home Aaron Pleschner (1-for-3, R).
The Spartans struck first in the second inning with three runs and held the lead for the remainder of the game.
In the Spartans second, Jace Duty (3-for-5, R, 2RBI) singled up the middle and Williams scored. Kent Burckle (1-for-4, 2RBI) made his Spartan debut and hit a RBI single up the middle with two outs to driving home Duty and Campbell.
Cameron Keup (2-0) picked up his second win of the season pitching just 0.2 innings. He came on in the fifth inning with the Spartans ahead, 3-2, two runners on and one out. Keup induced Utah's clean-up batter Rykker Tom to ground into an inning-ending double play ending the Ute's best chance to take the lead.
Utah would make things interesting in its sixth against Tevin Cadola, the Spartans' fifth of six pitchers. Catcher Shea Kramer (1-for-4, R, 2RBI) homered to left field cutting the deficit to 8-4.
The Spartans responded in the bottom of the sixth. Duty singled up the middle to send Williams home for the third time on the afternoon and San Jose State's final run of the game.
In the Utes’ seventh, Oliver Dunn (2-for-3, R, RBI, 2BB) hit his second homer of the season, a solo shot over the right field wall. Davis Delorefice (2-for-3, R, RBI, BB) singled to center field to send home Wade Gulden (3-for-3, R, RBI, BB) to bring the score to 9-6.
Wesley Clawson (0-1) picked up his third save of the season after he entered the game to open the eighth inning. Clawson gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases, but he struck out Utah's Tom to end the Utes' scoring threat and seal the victory for the Spartans.
The 3-hour, 12-minute game was then stopped at 4:15 p.m. (PT) after the eighth due to Utah needing to catch its early-evening flight.
The Spartans will travel to Reno, March 9-11 to take on Nevada in a three-game Mountain West series.