Spartans Drop 3-0 Decision In Rubber Match

Andre Mercurio recorded his first multi-hit game since April 24.
May 3, 2015

Final Stats

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Despite plenty of opportunities, the San José State University baseball team couldn't find a way to put up a crooked number in Sunday afternoon's rubber match at Municipal Stadium, falling 3-0 to visiting Fresno State.

San José State (12-36, 5-19 MW) collected eight hits and drew four walks and a hit batter, but stranded 13 runners. The Spartans left the bases loaded in the third inning and stranded two in each of the last three frames.

Fresno State (23-25, 13-11 MW) recorded a combined shutout behind starter Ricky Thomas (3-2) and reliever Jimmy Lambert, who was credited with his first save of the season. Thomas went the first 6.1 innings and scattered four hits while walking four and striking out four. Lambert took over in the seventh and worked the final 2.2 innings, yielding four hits and striking out two Spartans.

"I don't think we competed at the plate. We had the guy on the ropes in the first inning and we let him off the hook, said San José State head coach Dave Nakama. "He's a pretty good pitcher, but we had scoring opportunities. We left 13 guys on base, so if we just get two ground balls it's a 3-2 game going into the ninth and then it's interesting. But we've been doing that all year; we haven't hit all year with guys on base, and that's really hurt us a lot this year."

Hilario Tovar (1-5) made the start for San José State and was tagged with the loss. The freshman labored through a first inning in which he allowed a pair of runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. Tovar would rebound with scoreless frames in the second and third to finish with a final line of 3.0 innings, two runs allowed on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts.

Turtle Kuhaulua gave the Spartans everything they could ask for out of the bullpen, fanning nine Bulldogs over his 6.0 innings of work and scattering six hits while allowing a lone run. Four of his strikeouts came to consecutive hitters in the fifth and sixth.

The Spartans got a pair of two-hit afternoons from the top of their lineup in Andre Mercurio (2-3, walk, hit by pitch, double) and Ozzy Braff (2-3, two sac bunts). Chris Williams (1-4), Joe Stefanki (1-4), Dillan Smith (1-4) and Corey Olivet (1-4) contributed to San José State's eight-hit afternoon.

The last road trip of the season gets underway with a visit to Cal Poly on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. before the Spartans head to Albuquerque, N.M., for a weekend set with New Mexico.

Fresno State 3, San Jose State 0 (May 03, 2015 at San Jose, Calif.)
Fresno State........ 200 000 100 - 3 9 0 (23-25, 13-11 MW)
San Jose State...... 000 000 000 - 0 8 2 (12-36, 5-19 MW)
Pitchers: Fresno State - THOMAS, Ricky; LAMBERT, Jimmy(7) and WARD, Taylor. San Jose State -
Tovar, Hilario; KUHAULUA, Turtle(4) and Stefanki, Joe.
Win-THOMAS, Ricky(3-2) Save-LAMBERT, Jimmy(1) Loss-TOVAR, Hilario(1-5) T-2:31 A-432
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny