San José State Falls Short In 3-2 Loss At New Mexico

Shane Timmons has hit safely in 15 of his 17 games this season.
March 19, 2016

Box Score

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – San José State nearly climbed all the way back from an early three-run deficit but fell just short in a 3-2 loss to first-place New Mexico on Saturday afternoon at Santa Ana Star Field.

After out-hitting the Lobos 9-8 in Friday night’s 9-6 loss, the Spartans (6-12, 2-5 MW) managed 10 hits off three different New Mexico (12-6, 4-1 MW) hurlers Saturday.    

The hosts got off to a fast start with two runs off sophomore Matt Brown (1-2) in the first. Carl Stajduhar’s one-out infield single pushed across the game’s first run, and Jack Zoellner lifted a sac fly to left that tallied the second Lobo run of the frame.

In the third, Luis Gonzalez coaxed a leadoff walk and scored on a double off the bat of Chris DeVito, who came into the game with the third-best batting average in the Mountain West.

The three-run cushion worked well for New Mexico starter Tyler Stevens (3-1), as the righty scattered nine hits and fanned six in his 8.0 innings of work. 

While Stevens was doing his thing to stymie the Spartan offense, Graham Gomez was quietly making quick work of Lobo hitters, working the game’s final 3.1 innings, allowing only a walk that was later erased via double play. The outing marked Gomez’s second-longest outing of the season.

Despite hitting into a season-high four double plays, San José State was able to make things interesting late. Second baseman Ozzy Braff got the team on the board, smashing a 2-1 offering from Stevens for his team-best third home run of the season to lead off the eighth. After fanning the sixth Spartan of the game, back-to-back hits off the bats of Dillan Smith and Corey Olivet put the tying runners on base. Aaron Pleschner’s bid for his second hit of the afternoon was corralled in left but the return throw to the infield skipped away, allowing Smith and Olivet to move up 90 feet, setting up the play of the game.

Spartan catcher Joe Stefanki lifted a ball to right field that forced New Mexico’s Andre Vigil to leave his feet in attempt to make a diving catch. The ball bounced out of Vigil’s glove and trickled away, bringing home one run, but the would-be tying run was cut down as second baseman Michael Eaton alertly picked up the ball and fired a strike to nab Olivet’s sliding attempt to tie the game.

David Campbell doubled to start the ninth but Lobo reliever Victor Sanchez danced out of trouble and nailed down his team-high fifth save of the season.

The finale of the three game series comes on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. MT/12:00 p.m. PT, with New Mexico’s Colton Thomson being countered by San Jose State’s Josh Nashed

NOTES: Timmons extended his season-high 12-game hit streak with a single to lead off the second inning…With the pair of double plays turned by the Spartans, they now have 19 on the season, the most in the Mountain West Conference…San José State dropped its fifth one-run ballgame of the season and is now 1-5 in such contests.

New Mexico 3, San Jose State 2 (Mar 19, 2016 at Albuquerque, N.M.)
San Jose State...... 000 000 020 - 2 10 1
New Mexico.......... 201 000 00X - 3 6 1
Pitchers: San Jose State - Brown, Matt; GOMEZ, Graham(5) and Stefanki, Joe. New Mexico -
STEVENS, Tyler; BRIDGES, Drew(9); SANCHEZ, Victor(9) and DeVITO, Chris.
T- A-0
HR SJ - Braff, Ozzy (3).
Weather: 59F, clear, no real wind