SAN DIEGO - The Spartans could not take advantage of getting the leadoff hitter onboard in seven of the nine innings, scoring in only two of those innings to lose to San Diego State 5-4 on Friday night.
In a Mountain West conference matchup between the second place Aztecs and third place Spartans, SJSU lost a one-run game for the third time in the last four losses. The Spartans are now 10-15 on the season with a conference record of 5-5. The Aztecs improved to 17-9 overall and 7-3 in conference.
SJSU got on board in the first when Kellen Strahm led off the inning with a single off of SDSU starter Brett Seeburger. The Spartans advanced Strahm to second on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Pleschner. Chris Williams drove in Strahm with an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead.
Williams was subsequently picked off, in what turned out to be the first of four Spartan runners to be retired on the bases on the night.
In the second inning alone, the Spartans were twice retired on the bases. Shane Timmons doubled to lead off the inning but was thrown out at third on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Kyle Morrison. With Morrison at first, he was picked off by the lefty Seeburger.
San José State once again got the leadoff hitter on base in the fourth when Chris Williams and Joseph Stefanki hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. Down by a score of 3-1 at this point, the Spartans looked to cut into the lead with runners at first and second with no outs. However, Williams was thrown out at third on a steal attempt to halt the SJSU momentum.
The score remained 3-1 Aztecs until the top of the sixth inning when the Spartans were able to take advantage of Strahm's leadoff single. Pleschner and Williams walked to load the bases with one out when David Campbell grounded out to short to bring home Strahm.
With runners at the corners, Campbell stole second and on an errant throw by the Aztecs catcher, Pleschner scored from third to tie the game at 3-3.
Another error by the Aztecs, this time on a grounder to second by Timmons, scored Campbell, giving the Spartans a 4-3 lead.
SJSU starter Jake Swiech had a solid game, going 6 1/3 innings for his longest outing in his Spartan career.
In the seventh, Swiech ran into issues when he gave up three consecutive hits to allow the tying and go-ahead runs. For the game, Swiech scattered 7 hits, 5 runs and struck out three while walking two in his longest career outing.
Swiech is now 1-3 on the season while San Diego State's Seeburger picked up the win and is now 5-1.
Game two of the series will be on Saturday, April 1 at 2:00 p.m. PT.