San Jose, Calif. – The San José State University baseball team could not recover from an early hole against Air Force, falling behind 3-0 before getting the first out of the game en route to losing 12-6 in the conference series opener.
The Falcons (17-20, 6-13 MW) jumped on Spartans starter Matt Brown in the top of the first when Tyler Jones hit a three-run homer after Brown hit the first two batters to open the game.
Brown struck out the side to end the first and finished with a career-high nine strikeouts in four innings.
The Spartans (13-22-1, 7-10-1 MW) answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first that freshman Kellen Strahm (1-for-2, R, 3 BB, 2 SB) essentially manufactured himself. Strahm lead off the inning with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a single by Shane Timmons (1-for-4, RBI, SB). Strahm stole home on a double steal with Timmons to make it a 3-1 game.
The two run deficit is the closest SJSU would come in the game.
Air Force added nine more runs, scoring in five of the remaining eight innings on 13 hits and taking advantage of three wild pitches and four hit batsmen by the Spartans pitching staff.
SJSU got two hits apiece from Michael Breen (2-for-3, R, RBI) and Kyle Blakeman (2-for-4, R, RBI). Breen, Blakeman and Kyle Morrison (1-for-3, R) each had a double.
Brown (3-5) took the loss for the Spartans and Falcons starter Jacob Devries, who pitched six innings allowing four runs, got the win.
The Spartans will look to bounce back in game two of the series on Saturday, April 22. SJSU will send Jake Swiech (1-3, 5.25 ERA) to the mound against Air Force starter Ethan Nichols (4-1, 6.29 ERA). First pitch is 4:00 p.m. PT.