San Jose, Calif. - A three-run home run by Shane Timmons got the San José State University baseball team (14-24-1) back into the game and the Spartans took advantage of free passes issued by the Saint Mary's (26-14) pitching staff to erase a four-run deficit to win 6-5 on Tuesday night.
Heading to the home half of the fifth inning, the Spartans trailed 5-1 when Timmons (1-for-4, R, 3 RBI) blasted a three-run homer over the left center wall to cut the Gaels lead to 5-4. It scored Aaron Pleschner (3-for-4, 2 R, BB) and Michael Breen (R, 2 BB) who got on with a single and walk.
SJSU relievers Graham Gomez and Zach Wallace were solid out of the bullpen, entering the game in the fifth and seventh innings, pitching a combined five shutout innings to keep the Spartans in the game. The pair of lefties allowed only three baserunners in those five frames.
The Spartans had scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings but a runner was left in scoring position each inning until they finally broke through in the eighth.
Johnny Mendoza (1-for-3, BB) led off the eighth with a single against Gaels reliever Jonathan Buckley. Mendoza advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Anders Davidson with two strikes on him. Joseph Stefanki pinch ran for Mendoza eventually coming around to score on a passed ball by Gaels catcher Jackson Thoreson to tie the game up 5-5.
Buckley issued four walks in the inning, three of them coming after getting two outs. Kellen Strahm (1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB) drew the last walk of the inning with the bases loaded to score Corey Olivet for the winning run, putting the Spartans up 6-5.
Wallace finished the game with an uneventful 1-2-3 inning to earn his second win of the season. Wallace retired the last seven batters he faced.
Buckley (0-1) took the loss for the Gaels.
The Spartans return to Mountain West conference action against Fresno State this weekend on the road. Fresno State currently sits in third place in the conference standings with a league record of 9-9. The Spartans are in sixth place with a 7-12-1 record. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT on Friday, April 28.