SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San José State University baseball team rallied back from a seven-run deficit to defeat the Santa Clara Broncos 13-8 in a non-conference game on Tuesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium.
At the halfway point of the season, 28 games in, the Spartans are 11-17 and the Broncos are 6-22.
Down 7-0, the Spartans began their rally in the top of sixth inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Kellen Strahm (1-for-6, 2 R) and Shane Timmons (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI) singled, followed by doubles by Joseph Stefanki (2-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBIs) and Kyle Morrison (1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB) sandwiching an RBI groundout by pinch-hitter Josh Nashed (RBI), to score the three Spartan runs.
SJSU gave up a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 8-3 game going to the top of the seventh when the Spartan offense erupted for six runs, to take a 9-8 lead.
In the seventh, pinch-hitter Johnny Mendoza got things started for San José State with his first Spartan hit for the true freshman. In total, the Spartans sent 11 batters to the plate collecting six hits, walking twice and aided by a Bronco error, to score six runs in the inning.
Among the six hits in the seventh inning, another true freshman, Maurice Hayden, Jr. got his first Spartan hit in only his second plate appearance of the year. Hitting from the left side, Hayden, Jr. hit a slicing double to left. Hayden, Jr. came into to score on a wild pitch by Bronco reliever Brandon Buckley in what turned out to be the winning run for SJSU.
True freshman Jakob Gonzalez, who finished the bottom of the sixth inning and faced one batter in the seventh, was the pitcher of record winning his first game as a Spartan (1-0).
With the Spartans ahead 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh, Gonzalez gave up a leadoff triple to Niko Holm. With no out and the runner at third, Josh Goldberg replaced Gonzalez and promptly retired the next three batters on a grounder and pair of strikeouts to preserve the one-run lead for San José State.
SJSU added four more runs in the top of the eighth for the final margin of 13-8. Michael Breen (1-for-3, 3 RBI), playing left field for the first time this season, hit his first career triple to drive in two runs in the eighth.
Thirteen runs are the most the Spartans have scored this season with much of the damage inflicted by the top of the order. Strahm, Pleschner (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Timmons and Stefanki combined to go 9-for-19, scoring nine runs and driving in five runs.
With the win, the Spartans takes the season series against the Broncos, having won the front-end of the home-and-home series, 4-2, last Wednesday, March 29.
After playing their ninth road game in the last 10 games, the Spartans return home to play a Mountain West conference series against New Mexico this weekend. First pitch on Friday, April 7 is scheduled for 7:00 p.m PT.