San Jose, Calif. – The San José State University baseball team (13-24-1, 7-12-1 MW) led 4-1 after four innings but Air Force (19-20, 8-13 MW) used the long ball to overcome the deficit as the Spartans fell 9-5 on Sunday.
SJSU scored in the first inning as they had in the first two games of the series. The Spartans scored a run without a hit, taking advantage of two Falcons errors and a wild pitch in the frame.
The Falcons tied the game up 1-1 in the top half of the fourth on Bradley Haslam’s solo homer, which extended his hit streak to 42 games.
With the game tied at 1-1, the Spartans scored three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Aaron Pleschner’s (1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB) two-run triple that got past the diving Falcons right fielder Russell Williams.
With a 4-1 lead heading to the fifth inning, the Spartans ran into trouble when Air Force hit a pair of home runs, a solo and a two-run variety, off of SJSU starter Joseph Balfour to tie the game at 4-4. Balfour was pulled after issuing a walk to Haslam who came home on a double off of Spartan reliever Zach Wallace, that put the Falcons up 5-4.
The Spartans had chances in the sixth in seventh innings but left five runners on base between the two frames.
In the sixth, still down 5-4, the Spartans put runners at second and third with one out but could not bring home a run, leaving two runners in scoring position.
Air Force tacked on three more runs in the seventh to extend its lead to 8-4.
San José State had a golden opportunity to get themselves back into the game in the seventh when they loaded the bases with no out, having already scored a run to cut the Falcons lead to 8-5. However, Joseph Stefanki (1-for-4, R) grounded into a 5-2-3 double play. David Campbell followed with a walk to load the bases again with two outs but Pleschner hit a grounder to end the inning.
Balfour took the loss for the Spartans to drop his record to 0-2 while Air Force starter Matt Hargreaves was credited with the win to improve to 2-3.
Shawn Kelley picked up a three inning save, his first of the season.
The Spartans will look to bounce back in the midweek game against Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, April 25 at Municipal Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT.