SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San José State University baseball team out hit San Diego State, 11-8, but lost 8-4 in the Mountain West conference series opener on Friday night at Municipal Stadium.
The Spartans (15-28-1, 8-15-1 MW) now trail Air Force by 2 ½ games for fourth place in the Mountain West conference standings after the Falcons defeated New Mexico, 18-14, tonight.
Second place San Diego State (32-15, 15-7 MW) gained a game on the first place New Mexico but still trail by two games.
Things were looking good for the Spartans in the early goings, taking a three-run lead in the third inning coupled with starter Matt Brown not allowing a hit until the fifth.
For the first five frames, Brown was outdueling Aztec starter Brett Seeburger who came into the game with the most wins in the conference (8) and the lowest ERA (2.98).
In the third, San José State scored three runs on four hits off Seeburger, including a pair of RBI singles by Michael Breen (1-for-3, R, RBI, BB) and Shane Timmons (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI) along with an RBI double by Chris Williams (1-for-5, R, RBI).
Brown was cruising along allowing only two walks in the first four frames, retiring nine straight batters at one point. However, the junior right-hander got into trouble in the fifth when he pushed a run across on two walks and two hit batsmen that cut the SJSU lead to 3-1. With the bases loaded, San Diego State’s Danny Sheehan got the first hit of the night for the Aztecs, driving home two runs on a single to tie the game at 3-3.
The Spartans answered back in the home half of the fifth when Shane Timmons hit a solo home run to put SJSU back up 4-3. It was his fourth home run in the last six games. The junior from Mission Viejo, Calif. has now hit eight homers on the year, matching the total from his first two seasons at SJSU.
At the start of the sixth inning, San José State made a pitching change from Brown, who had thrown 91 pitches after throwing 118 pitches in his last outing, to Zach Tanner.
Zanner could not hold the one run lead for the Spartans, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk allowing the Aztecs to take back the lead, 6-4.
San Diego State added a couple of insurance runs in the ninth for the final margin of score, 8-4.
Seeburger added to his league leading win total, improving his record to 9-1 while Tanner took the loss and is now 0-2 on the season. Jorge Fernandez who pitched the last 2 1/3 innings got his second save of the season.
Game two of the series continues on Saturday, May 6 at 4:00 p.m. PT. Right-hander Jake Swiech (1-4, 6.08) will take the mound for the Spartans against Aztec lefty Dominic Purpura (6-2, 3.86).