CORVALLIS, Ore. - San José State's baseball team entered the home half of the seventh inning with a 2-1 advantage, but Oregon State's six-run rally was the difference in Wednesday night's 8-2 loss to the Beavers at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
"We have to play a complete game; that's the thing," said head coach Dave Nakama. "Games are nine innings, and we haven't played a whole nine innings. We have to do a better job of that because the road doesn't get any easier for us, so we have to grow up quickly."
The win brought the Beavers to the 20-win mark at 20-5 on the season while the Spartans fell to 7-18.
Sophomore Kevin Flemer made his first career start for the Beavers and looked sharp through the first 3.0 innings, not allowing a hit and striking out a pair.
Oregon State had the makings of a rally in the fourth inning, but Smith had other ideas. After KJ Harrison reached on an error, Gabe Clark singled up the middle on a hit-and-run and Harrison tried to take third. Smith scooped up the ball and fired a strike to Campbell at third to nab Harrison and thwart a Beavers scoring chance.
OSU finally broke through two innings later. Trever Morrison led off the bottom of the sixth by taking a Richard breaking ball off the knee. One batter later, Morrison broke for second and Harrison atoned for his baserunning blunder by driving the 2-1 pitch into the right center gap, allowing Morrison to score easily and tie the game at 1-1.
Richard doubled his season high with a 4.0-inning outing and kept the Spartans in the game, allowing the lone run on three hits while striking out one and dancing out of trouble on multiple occasions.
"He pitched really well," Nakama said. "He pitched us out of some tough spots and he did a great job for us."
Flemer settled down after the fourth and finished with a final line of 6.2 innings pitched with one run allowed on two hits and five strikeouts.
Flemer was lifted with two down in the seventh in favor of freshman left-hander Ryan Mets to match up with the lefty Williams. Williams greeted Mets with a solo blast over the right field fence for his first career home run and a 2-1 San José State lead.
The lead didn't last long, however, as a six-run seventh inning put the game away for the Beavers. Ross Slaney (1-2), who got the loss, entered in relief of Richard at the start of the inning and induced a groundout to the leadoff man before walking the next hitter and giving up three straight singles. After Harrison popped up to short for the second out, Clark swatted a three-run homer to left and Michael Howard followed with a homer down the right field liner for a 7-2 Oregon State lead.
"Williams hits that home run, we go get the first guy out in the next inning, then again we walk a guy and can't put up a zero after we score," said Nakama "That would've been big, but you have to give them credit. They can really hit and they hit mistakes with guys on base, so you have to tip your hat to them also."
The Beavers would add another run in the eighth on Harrison's sac fly to right to reach the final 8-2 margin.
San José State finished with a total of three hits for the second consecutive night. Williams' blast was the most notable, with Timmons' RBI single and a base knock by Campbell rounding out the offensive contributions.
The Spartans return to Municipal Stadium for the first time since March 17 when it hosts Nevada, the Mountain West leader, this weekend.
"We're playing the first place team in our conference and we've put ourselves in a position where we have no margin for error," Nakama said. "We have to win every single conference game that we can; that's just the way it goes. We'll see if we're up to the challenge."
Oregon State 8, San Jose State 2 (Mar 25, 2015 at Corvallis, Ore.)
San Jose State...... 000 100 100 - 2 3 2 (7-18)
Oregon State........ 000 001 61X - 8 10 0 (20-5)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Brown, Matt; RICHARD, Myles(3); SLANEY, Ross(7); JOHNSON, Carter(7);
BERUMEN, Jackson(8); GOLDBERG, Josh(8) and Veasey, Jack. Oregon State - Flemer, Kevin;
Mets, Ryan(7); Pomeroy, John(7); Hickey, Mitch(9) and Harrison, KJ; Ice, Logan.
Win-Pomeroy, John(2-0) Loss-SLANEY, Ross(1-2) T-2:31 A-2343
HR SJSU - Williams, Chris (1).
HR OSU - Clark, Gabe (7); Howard, Michael (2).
Weather: 62 Degrees, Cloudy
Mets, R. faced 1 batter in the 7th.