Baseball Drops Heartbreaker At Air Force, 8-7

Brendt Citta hit his first career home run and had a career-high four RBIs.

Box Score

USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – San José State scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie Sunday’s series finale at Air Force 7-7, but Tyler Zobojnik’s RBI single gave the Falcons a walk-off 8-7 win Sunday afternoon at Falcon Field.

Air Force completed a four-game sweep and improved to 18-8 overall and 8-4 in the Mountain West. San José State dropped to 10-21 on the campaign and 3-12 in conference action.

Trailing 7-5 entering the ninth, the Spartans rallied for a pair of runs to tie the ballgame. Brendt Citta cut the deficit in half on an RBI fielder’s choice, and with runners at the corners, Tyler Olivet singled back up the box to plate Ozzy Braff with the tying run.

Spencer Draws’ leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth chased Josh Goldberg (L, 3-1), who entered in relief of starter Josh Nashed. Jake Swiech took over and intentionally walked Bradley Haslam to set up a double play, but then walked Tyler Jones to load the bases. Swiech got Nick Ready to pop out to first, but Tyler Zabojnik stepped up and singled through the left side to send the Falcons home happy.

The loss wasted a gritty outing by Nashed. The sophomore right-hander surrendered six runs on 11 hits in 6.0+ innings, but pitched through a sore foot after taking a line drive off it in the fourth inning. Goldberg worked the seventh and eighth innings and yielded two runs on three hits.

For a third consecutive game, San José State reached double digits in the hit column. Friday’s 14-hit output matched last Sunday’s total as the second-highest of the season, trailing only the 16 hits they collected at LMU on February 27.

Braff (3-5, two runs, double) led the way with a three-hit game and finished the series 7-for-16 (.438). David Campbell (2-3, run, two walks), Justin Beck (2-4), Michael Breen (2-4, RBI) and Dillan Smith (2-4) had multi-hit afternoons as well.

Citta (1-5, home run, four RBIs) clubbed his first career home run. His two-run shot in the top of the sixth erased a 4-2 Falcon lead and tied the ballgame at 4-4. Citta added two more RBIs on a groundout and fielder’s choice to set a new season high of four RBIs.

San José State closes out the nine-game road trip when it makes the trip north to face Stanford on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Air Force 8, San Jose State 7 (Apr 10, 2016 at USAF Academy, Colo.)
San Jose State...... 200 002 012 - 7 14 0 (10-21, 3-12 MW)
Air Force........... 000 310 301 - 8 15 0 (18-8, 8-4 MW)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Nashed, Josh; GOLDBERG, Josh(7); SWIECH, Jake(9) and Stefanki, Joe.
Air Force - BIANCALANA, Nick; FRY, Lance(7); MCDANIEL, Austin(8) and DAU, Rob.
Win-MCDANIEL, Austin(1-0) Loss-GOLDBERG, Josh(3-1) T-2:41 A-119
HR SJ - Citta, Brendt (1).
Weather: 54 degrees, overcast
NASHED faced 2 batters in the 7th.
GOLDBERG faced 1 batter in the 9th.