SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San José State's baseball team was firing on all cylinders Sunday afternoon, as the Spartans claimed the series finale with an 11-1 win over San Diego State at Municipal Stadium.
"That's one of the few games we've played this year where we've pitched well and we've hit with runners on base," said Spartans' head coach Dave Nakama. "Any time you pitch and you put up zeros, it gives your offense a chance to score some runs. We played well today."
San José State (9-26, 3-15 MW) salvaged the final game of the series in convincing fashion from San Diego State (26-11, 14-4), who entered Sunday alone atop the Mountain West standings after taking the first two games from the Spartans.
"We don't worry about the outcome as much as we worry about what we can control, and that's coming to the yard, working hard and playing hard," Nakama said. "It starts in batting practice. I give our guys credit because they work hard every time, no matter what happened the night before. You have to give them credit for that."
Kalei Contrades (3-6) held the Aztecs' offense in check all afternoon, allowing one run and scattering three hits in his 7.0 innings of work.
"I was feeling good and our offense put up some runs," Contrades said. "It's always good to pitch when you're ahead in the game so you can be comfortable out there. I just did my job, which is to throw strikes and get some guys out."
The senior right-hander fared much better Sunday than he did in San Diego back on February 21, when the Aztecs got to him for four runs on 10 hits.
"My fastball had some good velocity on it and my off-speed was working for me, also," said Contrades. "I was leaving the ball up a lot when we were down in San Diego and they hit me around, but I wasn't going to let them do it twice to me."
The Spartans' offense gave Contrades plenty of runs to work with, as they scored in five of the first six innings to race to an 11-0 lead. San José State handed SDSU left-hander Marcus Reyes (5-1) his first loss of the season. The sophomore entered Sunday's game with a 5-0 record and 2.97 ERA, including a 3-0 mark with a 0.83 ERA in Mountain West action.
Shane Timmons (3-3, double, two runs, four RBIs) led the San José State attack. The freshman collected all four of his RBIs in his first three trips to the plate on a sacrifice fly in the first, an RBI double in the third and a two-run single in the fourth.
"He's interesting because he's capable of that; that's why we started playing him lately. He's strong and he can really hit," said Nakama of Timmons. "That's a huge spot for us if he can do that, especially if he can do that against left-handed pitching."
Ozzy Braff (3-3, two runs, two walks) capped off his big weekend by reaching base all five times at the plate. The junior finished the weekend 8-for-10 (.800) at the plate with a double, three walks, two runs scored and an RBI.
"He's a good player. It really hurt us that he was hurt the first part of the season. He has some experience, he has a great makeup and he's a great player," Nakama said. "I think now he's starting to come around a little bit from that injury."
Chris Williams (2-5, two RBIs) set a new season high with a pair of RBIs on the afternoon and fellow freshman Kyle Morrison (2-4, RBI) collected his first-career multi-hit game and RBI.
Andre Mercurio (1-3, two runs, two hit by pitch), Brett Bautista (1-3, three runs, two walks) and Joe Stefanki (1-4, two runs, walk, two RBIs) rounded out the Spartans' 13-hit outburst.
Mercurio's biggest contribution of the day may have been his play in center field. The senior made a sensational leaping catch against the wall in left center to rob SDSU's Ty France of an extra-base hit in the sixth inning. (WATCH)
"When he plays center field, any ball hit out there has a chance to be caught," Nakama said of Mercurio. "He's done that as long as I've been here. That was a great catch, but I'm not surprised. He's a great player and we're fortunate to have him out there."
The Spartans travel to Saint Mary's on Tuesday for a rematch with the Gaels in a 3:00 p.m. first pitch at Louis Guisto Field in Moraga, Calif.
San Jose State 11, San Diego State 1 (Apr 12, 2015 at San Jose, Calif.)
San Diego State..... 000 000 100 - 1 4 4 (26-11, 14-4 MW)
San Jose State...... 204 212 00X - 11 13 0 (9-26, 3-15 MW)
Pitchers: San Diego State - REYES, Marcus; BLUMAN, Mitch(3); OAKLEY, Zack(4); DOUTY, Dalton(5);
SEEBURGER, Brett(5); SAYLOR, CJ(6) and ZAVALA, Seby. San Jose State - Contrades, Kalei;
KUHAULUA, Turtle(8) and Stefanki, Joe.
Win-CONTRADES, Kalei(3-6) Loss-REYES, Marcus(5-1) T-2:34 A-418
Weather: 77 degrees, sunny
DOUTY faced 2 batters in the 5th.
SEEBURGER faced 3 batters in the 6th.