SAN JOSE, Calif. – Kyle Blakeman’s walk-off single in the 12th inning lifted San José State to a 6-5 conference win over Nevada on Friday night.
With the game tied at 5-5, freshman Kellen Strahm (3-for-6, 3 R, RBI) led off the 12th with a double down the left field line. Strahm then advanced to third on a passed ball by Nevada catcher Kaleb Foster.
The next batter, Shane Timmons (2-for-6, R, RBI) grounded to short, who held Strahm at bay at third. The next two Spartan batters, Joseph Stefanki (1-for-4, R, RBI, 2 BB) and Justin Beck (1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB) were intentionally walked to load the bases with one out to set the stage for Blakeman’s heroics.
Blakeman, who came into the game earlier to pinch hit, got around on the Wolf Pack reliever Evan McMahan’s 2-1 pitch to drive it over the left fielder’s head to score Strahm for the game winning run.
The hit capped off a 4 hour 33 minute marathon game. The Spartans improved its record to 7-9 overall and 3-4 in conference. While the Wolf Pack dropped to 5-13 overall and 2-5 in Mountain West play.
The game was seemingly headed for nine innings when the Spartans held a 5-1 advantage going to the eighth. However, with one out, the Wolf Pack hit three consecutive singles off of Spartans reliever Jake Swiech.
With the bases loaded and one out, Spartans closer Joseph Balfour was brought into the game. He induced a ground ball to second that Kyle Morrison made an error on, allowing a Nevada run and keeping the bases loaded.
The Spartans still held a 5-2 advantage when Balfour struck out the next batter, before a passed ball by Joseph Stefanki scored the Wolf Pack’s third run. Foster then singled to drive in two runs to tie the game up at 5-5. Nevada scored four unearned runs in the inning.
Four pitchers for SJSU combined for 12 hits, 13 strike outs, three walks and just one earned run in 12 innings. Starter Josh Nashed went four innings, followed by Jake Swiech (3 1/3 IP), Balfour (2 2/3) and Jaiden France (2.0 IP) who picked up his first win as a Spartan.
Strahm had three hits on the evening to extend his hit streak to 13-games and raise his season average to .365.
The second game of the series takes place on Saturday, March 18 with the first pitch at 4:00 p.m. PT.