FRESNO, Calif. - The San José State baseball team had more than its fair share of chances, but left 12 men aboard in Sunday afternoon's 6-3 loss to Fresno State at Beiden Field.
In a game that saw at least one San José State (7-16, 1-8 MW) baserunner reach in every frame, Fresno State (14-11, 6-3 MW) was able to hold the Spartans to only a trio of runs. San José State got the leadoff man aboard seven times, but only scored him twice.
"We had so many opportunities and we struck out too many times with runners in scoring position; you can't do that," said head coach Dave Nakama. "We definitely had our opportunities but we just couldn't cash in."
Fresno State used eight pitchers on the afternoon, with none going longer than starter Garrett Mundell's 2.2 innings. Tim Borst (3-2) got the win for his 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Hilario Tovar made his first road start near his hometown of Selma, Calif., and departed with a no decision after working 4.1 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with a pair of walks. Turtle Kuhaulua (0-2) took the loss, going 1.2 innings and surrendering the three runs that were the difference in the game. Carter Johnson worked a perfect eighth and ninth innings, the only two of the afternoon for either team.
Ozzy Braff picked up his first hit of his San José State career with a base hit to left in the first inning and later added two more singles to finish 3-for-5 on the day. Brett Bautista and Shane Timmons both collected 2-for-5 days and David Campbell, Chris Wiliams and Kyle Morrison added lone hits for the Spartans.
The Bulldogs scored in the first inning on an Austin Guibor steal of home in which the Spartans were unable to get an out on a 1st and 3rd play.
They padded their lead in the next inning on a pair of hits, a walk and a hit batter. With the bases loaded, Tovar walked in a run and then induced a comebacker by Kenny but got the out at first, allowing Joe Prior to come home for a 3-0 lead.
"You can't walk guys in, but the first and third play, we had the right play on and just didn't execute it. We gave away a couple runs but we also had opportunities to score and didn't do it," Nakama said.
The Spartans got back in the game with a two-run third inning to cut the lead to 3-2. Dillan Smith led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on Ozzy Braff's single to left, advanced to third on a fly out by Brett Bautista and came home on a David Campbell sac fly to left. After Braff stole second, Shane Timmons drove him home on a sharp grounder through the right side.
After threatening in the fourth, San José State tied the game in the fifth on a pair of singles by Bautista and Campbell and double play ball by Timmons that scored Bautista.
Tovar gave way to Josh Nashed in the fifth after a leadoff base hit and fly out to left. Nashed walked the only two Bulldogs he faced, and Kuhaulua entered to try to get out of the mess. With a full count, Aaron Arruda grounded a ball to Campbell at third, who stepped on his bag and fired to Williams at first for an inning-ending double play.
Kuhaulua didn't have such luck in the bottom of the sixth. First baseman Kevin Viers led off the frame with a solo shot to right - his fourth homer of the year and third blast of the series. A walk and three singles later, the Bulldogs had a 6-3 lead that would hold up to finish off the sweep.
San José State loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but a pop out sandwiched between strikeouts got the Bulldogs out of the jam unscathed.
The Spartans continue their stretch of eight games in 10 days with a two-game set at Oregon State on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"It's always nice to play, but it's not going to get any easier. We have to go to Oregon State and it will be a great test for us," Nakama said. "We have our work cut out."
Fresno State 6, San Jose State 3 (Mar 22, 2015 at FRESNO, Calif.)
San Jose State...... 002 010 000 - 3 10 1 (7-16, 1-8 MW)
Fresno State........ 120 003 00X - 6 9 0 (14-11, 6-3 MW)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Tovar, Hilario; NASHED, Josh(5); KUHAULUA, Turtle(5);
JOHNSON, Carter(7) and Stefanki, Joe. Fresno State - MUNDELL, Garrett; LEE, Dylan(3);
RAMIREZ, Rickey(4); BORST, Tim(6); REECE, Mark(8); MUNRO, William(8); RODRIGUEZ, Casey(8);
SHULL, Jake(8) and WARD, Taylor.
Win-BORST, Tim(3-2) Save-SHULL, Jake(6) Loss-KUHAULUA, Turtle(0-2) T-3:11 A-1470
HR FS - VIERS, Kevin (4).
LEE,D faced 2 batters in the 4th.
NASHED faced 2 batters in the 5th.
REECE,M faced 1 batter in the 8th.
MUNRO,W faced 2 batters in the 8th.