Early Home Runs Doom San José State In 11-7 Defeat

Dillan Smith went 4-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs Friday afternoon.
April 3, 2015

Final Stats

USAFA, Colo. -- The San José State baseball team clawed back from an early 10-1 deficit, but Air Force's four home runs in the first three innings were too much to overcome in Friday afternoon's 11-7 loss at Falcon Field.

The Spartans (8-22, 2-12 MW) allowed at least one home run in each of the first three innings to the Falcons (13-16, 7-7 MW), who collected 14 hits for the second consecutive day.

Kalei Contrades (2-6) allowed a career-high seven runs in just 2.0 innings of work. All seven runs came via the big fly, with Tyler Jones hitting a two-run homer in the first, Shaun Mize leading off the second with a solo blast and Noah Pierce connecting for a grand slam later in the inning.

The Spartans got a solid relief effort from Carter Johnson to keep them in the ballgame. Johnson went a career-high 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out two.

"With the exception of the first inning, he pitched well and kept us close, and we had a couple chances with the base loaded that we couldn't do anything with," said Spartans' head coach Dave Nakama.

At the plate, Dillan Smith had a career day for the Spartans, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of RBIs on three singles and a two-run triple. Brett Bautista (2-5, run, two doubles, two RBIs) added a multi-hit day and Ozzy Braff and Turtle Kuhaulua chipped in with a single apiece.

"Dillan's been swinging it better lately, but hopefully we can get a couple more guys going too. Hopefully we're playing better toward the end of the season," Nakama said.

Jacob DeVries (4-4) worked the first 6.1 innings for Air Force, allowing five runs on six hits while walking five and striking out five. Michael Reiker and Steven Trojan pieced together the last 2.2 innings for the Falcons.

Down 10-1 after three innings, San José State chipped away with three runs in the top of the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the eighth to close the margin to 11-7.

The series will wrap up Saturday at 12:00 p.m. MT/11:00 a.m. PT with Hilario Tovar (1-0, 7.06) getting the ball for the Spartans and Trent Monaghan (3-1, 2.17) going for San José State. The game was originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. MT/12:00 p.m. PT.

Air Force 11, San Jose State 7 (Apr 03, 2015 at USAF Academy, Colo.)
San Jose State...... 010 310 020 - 7 8 1 (8-22, 2-12 MW)
Air Force........... 253 100 00X - 11 14 0 (13-16, 7-7 MW)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Contrades, Kalei; JOHNSON, Carter(3); HERNANDEZ, Jonathan(8);
BERUMEN, Jackson(8) and Stefanki, Joe. Air Force - DeVRIES, Jacob; RIEKER, Michael(7);
TROJAN, Steven(9) and WILKIE, Travis.

Win-DeVRIES, Jacob(4-4) Loss-CONTRADES, Kalei(2-6) T-2:44 A-131

HR AF - GROESBECK, Adam (4); PIERCE, Noah (5); JONES, Tyler (5); MIZE, Shaun (1).

Weather: 41 degrees, scattered clouds

HERNANDEZ faced 1 batter in the 8th.