San Jose State Splits Doubleheader, Sunday's Game Moved Up

Aaron Pleschner had a pair of hits in both ballgames Saturday afternoon.
March 12, 2016

Box Score

SAN JOSE, Calif. – San José State’s baseball team split Saturday’s doubleheader with visiting Air Force at a cold and windy Municipal Stadium. 

The Spartans (6-9, 2-3 MW) dropped the first game to the Falcons (9-4, 3-1 MW) by a 7-2 tally, but responded to pick up a 9-5 win in the second game and hand Air Force its first Mountain West loss of the season.

In game one, Air Force starter Griffin Jax (3-1) showed why he’s been one of the best pitchers in the conference this season. The junior right-hander brought his third-best ERA of 1.80 into Saturday’s ballgame and stymied the Spartans’ offense, going 6.0 shutout innings and yielding just three hits while walking three and striking out eight, dropping his ERA to 1.38 in the process.

Josh Nashed (0-3) was saddled with the loss for his 5.0 innings of work. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits while fanning three. Jake Swiech and Jonathan Hernandez combined to toss the remaining 4.0 innings without allowing a run. 

Aaron Pleschner (2-5, RBI) and David Campbell (2-4, walk, RBI) accounted for both RBIs and half of San José State’s eight hits in the first game. 

Game two looked much different from the outset. The Spartans put up six runs on six hits in the bottom of the first inning off Falcons starter Jacob DeVries (2-2), who came into the series with a pair of wins under his belt. He rebounded to post three scoreless frames after that, but the Spartans got another off him in the fifth and chased him with a man on in the sixth. That runner came around to score later in the inning, closing the book on DeVries with an ERA nearly four runs higher than he entered with.

“In the second game we scored runs when we had opportunities. That first inning, to put six runs on the board against a quality arm like that was a huge lift for us,” said San José State head coach Dave Nakama. “That was the difference in the game for us in the second game.”

Air Force chipped away at the lead throughout, however, as it sandwiched a three-run fifth between lone runs in the third and sixth. Every time the Falcons got close, San José State was able to answer back and makes its lead hold up.

“They knew it was going to be tough to score after we put up six, and they were just trying to stay close and put some good at-bats together,” Nakama said. “They do a good job and they don’t give up. They’re a tough team to beat.”

Campbell (3-4, two runs, two RBIs, triple) had a big afternoon, collecting three more hits in the second game to make him 5-for-8 on the day. Pleschner (2-4, run, walk, two RBIs) chipped in with another two-hit day of his own, and six other Spartans added hits to get to 11 for the game. Shane Timmons stretched his hitting streak to 10 games with a lone hit in each contest.

Hilario Tovar (2-2) picked up his second win in as many Saturdays for his 2.0 innings of one-run relief. He took over for starter Logan Handzlik, who went he first four frames and was touched for four runs on eight hits. Matt Brown, Sunday’s projected starter coming in, picked up his first save of the season by tossing the final 3.0 innings. He struck out two and allowed just one hit. 

Sunday’s game has been moved up an hour to 12:00 p.m. PT.

San Jose State 9, Air Force 5 (Mar 12, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.) (Game 2)
Air Force........... 001 031 000 - 5 13 1 (9-4, 3-1 MW)
San Jose State...... 600 012 00X - 9 11 0 (6-9, 2-3 MW)
Pitchers: Air Force - DEVRIES, Jacob; MCDANIEL, Austin(6); STANFORD, Nathan(8) and
WILKIE, Travis; DAU, Rob. San Jose State - Handzlik, Logan; TOVAR, Hilario(5); BROWN, Matt(7)
and Stefanki, Joe.
Win-TOVAR, Hilario(2-2) Save-BROWN, Matt(1) Loss-DEVRIES, Jacob(2-2) T-2:36 A-378
Weather: 59 degrees, overcast
Game notes:
AF HC Mike Kazlausky was ejected following the second in the T4.
HANDZLIK faced 3 batters in the 5th.
DEVRIES faced 1 batter in the 6th.