Five-Run Sixth Pushes Aztecs Past Spartans, 6-1

Hilario Tovar threw 5.1 hitless innings Saturday afternoon.
April 11, 2015

Final Stats

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San José State University baseball team had the looks of one poised to pull off an upset, but was undone by San Diego State's big fifth inning in Saturday's 6-1 loss at Municipal Stadium.

The Spartans (8-26, 2-15 MW) and Aztecs (26-10, 14-3 MW) traded zeros through the first four innings on the afternoon before San José State got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fifth. San Diego State answered with five runs in the next frame and one more in the seventh to seal the series victory.

Hilario Tovar (1-2) was the tough-luck loser on the afternoon. The freshman didn't allow a hit through his first 5.1 innings of work and retired the Aztecs in order in the first, third and fourth innings.

"He's that kind of a pitcher. That was good to see, and he gave us a chance to win," said head coach Dave Nakama. "We have score runs for him, and we didn't do that. That's kind of been the story of the season. We have to do a better job with that."

Tovar ran into trouble in the sixth inning. After walking Steven Pallares and hitting Danny Sheehan to open the inning, Andre Mercurio made a sensational catch to keep the no-hitter alive, but Seby Zavala lined the next pitch through the left side to get the Aztecs in the hit column. Andrew Brown popped out to second to bring the Spartans within an out of getting out unscathed, but Tovar's fifth walk of the afternoon plated a run and he was pulled with a 3-1 count to Chase Calabuig.

Turtle Kuhaulua entered to try to keep the game tied, but Calabuig brought two runs in with a single to center and Spencer Thornton drove in two more with a triple to right.

"I think he got deep in the count a lot. You can't walk a guy, hit a guy and give them baserunners; you just can't do that," Nakama said. "We put Turtle in a bad spot: 3-1 count with the bases loaded, so they know he has to throw a fastball."

San José State had 11 hits to San Diego State's five, but could only score the one run on David Campbell's sacrifice fly in the fifth.

"They hit with guys on and we don't. We had 11 hits and one run to show for it while they had five hits and six runs. That's the difference," said Nakama. "We hit to get guys on, but we don't hit to get guys in. That's our biggest problem. We're not hitting with guys on base and the same guys are coming up. There has to be a time when we have to get a big hit. I think if we can get the big hit it will change a lot of things."

Ozzy Braff (3-3, walk, hit by pitch) extended his hit streak to five games and his multi-hit streak to three. Mercurio (2-5, run), Dillan Smith (2-4) and Brett Bautista (2-5) added a pair of hits each for the Spartans while Kyle Morrison (1-4) and Corey Olivet (1-4) added singles.

San José State will send Kalei Contrades (2-6, 4.66) to the mound Sunday to try to salvage the series finale. The Aztecs will counter with Marcus Reyes (5-0, 2.47) in a 1:00 p.m. first pitch at Municipal Stadium.

San Diego State 6, San Jose State 1 (Apr 11, 2015 at San Jose, Calif.)
San Diego State..... 000 005 100 - 6 5 2 (26-10, 14-3 MW)
San Jose State...... 000 010 000 - 1 11 1 (8-26, 2-15 MW)
Pitchers: San Diego State - SEYLER, Mark; ERICKSON, Jacob(7) and ZAVALA, Seby. San Jose State -
Tovar, Hilario; KUHAULUA, Turtle(6); RICHARD, Myles(7) and Veasey, Jack; Stefanki, Joe.
Win-SEYLER, Mark(7-1) Loss-TOVAR, Hilario(1-2) T-2:47 A-407
Weather: 70 degrees, mostly sunny