San José State Unable To Overcome Early Deficit In 8-6 Loss

Michael Breen posted his first three-hit night of the season and second of his career.
April 23, 2016

Box Score

FRESNO, Calif. – Despite outscoring host Fresno State 6-1 after the second inning, San José State could not climb all the way back from an early hole and fell 8-6 Saturday night at Pete Beiden Field.

With the loss, San José State (11-27, 4-16 MW) dropped the weekend and season series to Fresno State (26-14, 14-6 MW). The Spartans collected 12 hits, led by Michael Breen’s three-hit effort that matched his career high. Ozzy Braff (2-4, two runs, home run, three RBIs) and Aaron Pleschner (2-4, run, walk, RBI) joined Breen with multi-hit nights.

Fresno State made Spartans’ starter and Fresno native Logan Handzlik’s (L, 1-3) homecoming an unpleasant one, plating five runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the second.

Bulldogs right-hander Jimmy Lambert (W, 8-0), whom the Spartans touched for four runs on 11 hits at Municipal Stadium on March 25, put up zeroes early on but was not missing barrels. San José State put at least one man aboard in each of the first three innings and hit a number of balls hard that found gloves.

Trialing 7-0 entering the top of the fifth, San José State clubbed out five hits and took advantage of a Bulldog error to cut the lead to 7-4. After Breen drew a leadoff walk and Dillan Smith smacked a ground-rule double that hopped over the fence in left center, Pleschner smoked a line drive off Lambert’s glove that kicked to shortstop Korby Batesole. Batesole readjusted and hurried a throw to first, but it skipped past first baseman Kevin Viers and allowed Smith to score behind Breen. Two batters later, Braff slugged his team-best sixth home run of the season.

The Spartans chased Lambert in the top of the sixth by putting two men aboard with one out. The reliever, Rickey Ramirez, got Joe Stefanki to line out to center, but Braff drove in his third run of the contest with a single to right and made it a 7-5 ballgame.

Viers got the run right back in the home half of the sixth on a solo homer to right – his second longball of the night – stretching the lead back to three at 8-5. That was all the Bulldogs would get off Hilario Tovar, who tossed the last 5.0 innings and fanned six while keeping his offense within striking distance.

Tyler Olivet’s first triple of the season drove in Ozzy Braff in the top of the ninth and made it an 8-6 game with nobody out, but closer Tim Borst (S, 7) entered and retired three of the next four hitters to nail down his seventh save of the season.

San José State looks to salvage the final game of the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Josh Nashed gets the ball for the Spartans and opposes Edgar Gonzalez.

Fresno State 8, San Jose State 6 (Apr 23, 2016 at Fresno, Calif.)
San Jose State...... 000 041 001  -  6 12  1      (11-27, 4-16)
Fresno State........ 520 001 00X  -  8 13  1      (26-14, 14-6)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Handzlik, Logan; HERNANDEZ, Jonathan(2); TOVAR, Hilario(4) and
Stefanki, Joe. Fresno State - LAMBERT, Jimmy; RAMIREZ, Rickey(6); BORST, Tim(9) and PRIOR, Joe;
Win-LAMBERT, Jimmy(8-0)  Save-BORST, Tim(7)  Loss-HANDZLIK, Logan(1-3)  T-2:48  A-1456
HR SJ - Braff, Ozzy (6).
HR FS - VIERS, Kevin 2 (4).
Weather: 69 degrees, NNW 9 mph
RAMIREZ, R. faced 2 batters in the 9th.