SAN DIEGO – A solid effort by the San José State pitching staff was lost in the sun as the Spartans fell to San Diego State 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
In the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs in a tie ball game, Aztec third baseman Andrew Brown hit a routine fly ball to center. Spartan centerfielder Kellen Strahm seemingly had the ball in sight but lost it in the sun which cleared the bases for the Aztecs to take a 4-1 lead.
The play overshadowed an otherwise stellar Spartan pitching performance. Junior Joseph Balfour started his first game as a Spartan, throwing four innings of shutout ball. Balfour gave up four baserunners on two hits and two walks.
After Zach Wallace allowed two base runners in the fifth, Josh Goldberg came in and induced a double play to get out of the inning.
San José State scored the first run of the game just as they had in the first two games of the series. Junior Justin Beck hit an RBI bloop single with the bases loaded in the second inning to bring home Shane Timmons to put the Spartans up 1-0.
SJSU maintained the 1-0 lead heading into the fateful bottom of the seventh. The Aztecs strung together three doubles and an intentional walk to tie the game at 1-1 and loaded the bases.
Hilario Tovar came in for Tanner that set the stage for the fly ball to center that got lost in the sun.
The Spartans remain winless on the road this season, having lost its 14th straight away game. Overall, the Spartans are 10-17 while the Aztecs improved to 19-9.
Goldberg was charged with the loss (2-1) and Aztec reliever Jacob Erickson took the win (4-1).
The Spartans play Santa Clara on the road on Tuesday, April 4, having already beaten them at Municipal Stadium earlier in the week, 4-2. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT.