Fresno, Calif. – A five-run opening frame including a two-run home run by Shane Timmons helped the San José State University baseball team (15-24-1, 8-12-1 MW) take the series opener, 6-3, against Fresno State (20-21, 9-10 MW) on Friday night.
The Spartans picked up their eighth conference win, the most since 2014 when the program joined the Mountain West for its baseball season. The 2014 Spartans won ten conference games.
In the first, Timmons (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB) connected on a two-run home run off of Fresno State starter Edgar Gonzalez with Aaron Pleschner (2-for-4, R, RBI) on base to put the Spartans up 2-0. It was Timmons’ second consecutive game hitting a home run and sixth in the season.
SJSU would add three more runs in the inning on four consecutive hits including a double by Johnny Mendoza (1-for-2, R, RBI, 2 BB). Batting around the order in the inning, San José State put up five runs on six hits.
The five-run cushion is all Spartan starter Matt Brown would need.
Brown matched his career-high with 7.0 innings and nine punch outs, scattering five hits, three runs and walking five. The junior from Benicia, Calif., did not allow a hit in his last three innings of work while retiring the last eight batters he faced.
The first and fourth innings where the two innings that Brown got into trouble. They were the only innings that he allowed hits resulting in three Fresno State runs.
In the eighth, Brown gave way to Zach Tanner with a 6-3 lead. The side arm thrower allowed just one hit and got five of the six outs on grounders, including an inning ending double play in the eighth.
The combined outings by Brown and Tanner was even more impressive considering the wind conditions at Pete Beiden Field where it was blowing straight out between 20 – 30 miles per hour throughout the day. All six hits allowed by the Spartan tandem were singles.
Brown improved to 4-5 while Gonzalez fell to 3-3. Tanner picked up his first career save.
Pleschner, Chris Williams (2-for-5, R) and David Campbell (2-for-3, R, RBI) each had two hits and a run.
The second game of the series will take place on Saturday, April 29 with the first pitch at 6:05 p.m. PT. The wind conditions are expected to subside. The Spartans will send junior Jake Swiech (1-3, 5.11 ERA) to the hill against Fresno State lefty Ricky Tyler Thomas (3-3, 4.03 ERA).