Spartans Can't Contain Bulldogs' Offense In 9-4 Loss

Ozzy Braff walked and picked up a pair of hits Friday night.
March 25, 2016

Box Score

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Despite denting the scoreboard against one of the Mountain West's best pitchers this season in Fresno State's Jimmy Lambert, San José State could not corral the Bulldogs' offense and dropped the series with a 9-4 loss.

Friday night, the Spartans (6-15, 2-8 MW) did what all five other teams have failed to do in 2016 against Lambert: score multiple runs and collect more than seven hits in a game. San José State broke through for four runs on 11 hits in the junior right-hander's 8.1 innings of work. Lambert walked one and fanned just three - his lowest strikeout total since his first start of the season.

Despite Lambert's ERA rising from 0.79 to 1.49 by the end of the night, Fresno State (16-7, 6-2 MW) had enough offense to coast to victory for a second consecutive night. The Bulldogs wasted no time loading the bases in the first inning off Spartan starter Matt Brown (1-3), and Jesse Medrano cashed in with a bases-clearing double to the base of the right field wall.

San José State was able to cut the lead to 3-2 by pushing across single runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Josh Nashed got the Spartans on the board with an infield single that scored Cal Koga, who had reached on a fielder's choice. Two innings later, David Campbell laced a double into the right center gap to score Braff from second and cut the deficit in half.

Brown settled down and kept the Bulldogs off the board for the next five frames, though they put a man aboard in four of them. In the seventh, however, Fresno State chased Brown with a double and two singles to lead off the inning and plate a run. Reliever Graham Gomez couldn't put out the fire, as Austin Guibor drove in two more with a triple to right and Medrano drove in his fourth run of the game with an infield single.

In the eighth, Nashed drove in his second run of the contest with a line single that Bulldogs' second baseman Scott Silva could not make a play on. The Spartans chased Lambert in the ninth and forced Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole to use two relievers in the inning. The game ended up in a save situation for Ricky Ramirez by virtue of having the tying run in the on-deck circle when he entered with the bases loaded and a run already across in the frame. Ramirez struck out the first hitter he faced, Hunter Tidwell, to seal the series win for the Bulldogs.

Brown's line of 6.0-plus innings pitched, six runs allowed on seven hits was not indicative of how effective he was for most of the night. He was bit by a season-high four walks while striking out three. Gomez threw the final three frames and was credited with three runs allowed on five hits while walking one and striking out three.

The series concludes Saturday in a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Josh Nashed will take the ball for San José State, with Fresno State calling on Edgar Gonzalez.

Fresno State 9, San Jose State 4 (Mar 25, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.)
Fresno State........ 300 000 420 - 9 12 0 (16-7, 6-2 MW)
San Jose State...... 000 101 011 - 4 13 1 (6-15, 2-8 MW)
Pitchers: Fresno State - LAMBERT, Jimmy; ARIAS, Anthony(9); RAMIREZ, Rickey(9) and WARREN, Nick
. San Jose State - Brown, Matt; GOMEZ, Graham(7) and Stefanki, Joe; Koga, Cal.
Win-LAMBERT, Jimmy(5-0) Save-RAMIREZ, Rickey(1) Loss-BROWN, Matt(1-3) T-2:27 A-580
Weather: 70 degrees, clear skies
BROWN faced 3 batters in the 7th.