SAN JOSE, Calif. – Behind solid pitching and defense, the San José State University baseball team beat the Santa Clara Broncos 4-2 on Wednesday night in a non-conference matchup.
The Spartans are now 10-14, ending a five-game losing skid, all coming on the road. The Broncos dropped to 5-19.
Four Spartans pitchers combined to strike out nine Broncos without issuing a walk, while allowing nine hits and two runs.
It was the first time this season the SJSU pitching staff did not issue any free passes in the game. The Broncos on the other hand, walked 10 Spartans.
In the bottom of the first, SJSU took advantage of control issues by Broncos starter Bryson Spagnuolo. After getting the Spartans leadoff hitter to ground out, Spagnuolo allowed six Spartans to reach base consecutively through four walks and two singles. SJSU would score three runs in the inning sending nine batters to the plate.
Lefty Zach Wallace started on the mound for SJSU for the first time in his career, going three innings on just 41 pitches. Wallace scattered three hits and struck out two while working with a three run lead the Spartans offense provided in the bottom half of the first inning.
Wallace got some defensive help in the second inning when Santa Clara’s Zach Walsh tried to stretch a double into a triple with two outs. The relay from right fielder Chris Williams to shortstop Aaron Pleschner to third baseman David Campbell got Walsh at third for the final out of the inning.
First-year Spartan Jaiden France relieved Wallace in the fourth and pitched his most effective baseball in his young Spartan career, striking out six batters in 4.0 innings of shutout ball.
Hilario Tovar pitched a scoreless eighth before closer Joseph Balfour came in with a four-run lead in the ninth.
The Broncos cut the Spartans lead in half with a two-run home run by Tyler Meditz, however, it could have been a three-run shot if not for the Spartans defense.
With one out in the ninth, Santa Clara’s Jake Brodt tried to stretch out a double into a triple much like his teammate Walsh tried to do in the second inning. This time, the relay went from Williams to second baseman Kyle Morrison to Campbell to throw out Brodt.
Santa Clara followed with a single and a homer for the final score of 4-2.
The 3-4-5-6 batters for the Spartans had all seven hits in the game. Shane Timmons had three of the hits to lead the team along with two RBIs. Joseph Stefanki got on base four times with three walks and a hit.
The Spartans will travel on Thursday to head down to San Diego for a Mountain West conference showdown with San Diego State starting Friday, March 31. The Spartans trail the Aztecs by one game in the Mountain West standings with the Spartans holding a 5-4 conference record and 6-3 for the second place Aztecs.