May 13, 2014
Stanford, Calif. --- Right when it looked like San José State might be in for a long night, a four-run fifth and a five-run sixth vaulted the Spartans passed Stanford for a 10-8 victory in the final regular-season contest of 2014 at Sunken Diamond.
“I give these guys a lot of credit,” said SJSU head coach Dave Nakama. “We were coming off of a tough weekend, and then we were down four nothing before we can even get loose. I give them credit for this gritty win.”
After the Cardinal (24-22) mounted a 4-0 lead through the first three innings, the Spartans (18-39) batted around in the fourth. They used four hits, a bases-loaded walk and a Stanford error to tie the game 4-4.
Matt Lopez’s single began the rally. Then Matt Carroll reached on a throwing error by the third baseman Alex Blandino, and the next batter Brett Bautista gave the Spartans their first run with a single through the right side. Alec de Watteville singled, Mike Simonini took the bases-loaded walk and Jacob Valdez tied the game 4-4 with a 2-run single up the middle.
Stanford came back to take a 6-4 lead scoring one run in the bottom of the fourth and fifth. Danny Diekroeger and Brant Whiting hit RBI-singles respectively to give Stanford the lead back.
But that lead was quickly erased when SJSU struck again in the sixth inning. This time for five runs, and it was Sheldon Daquioag’s chopper down the left-field line which went for a 2-run double that highlight the scoring. Valdez and Gallegos, who both singled, scored on the play to give the Spartans a 7-6 lead.
Stanford reliever Chris Castellanos (0-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings allowing three earned runs for a loss.
Brett Bautista did the final damage of the inning when he singled to the shortstop and a throwing error allowed Daquioag to score and make it 9-6.
Stanford pitching was out of control all night, and it helped SJSU again in the second big inning. A wild pitch allowed Matt Carroll to score from third, and there were two walks and two hit batsmen in the frame. San José State was issued 10 free passes via a walk or hit batsmen in the contest to go along with the two Cardinal errors.
Michael Wright (2-4) pitched the fifth and sixth innings for the Spartans. After SJSU’s five-spot in the top of the sixth, Stanford threatened with runners on second and third in the bottom half. Wright however, induced two ground-ball outs to conclude a shutdown inning.
“We buried ourselves in the first inning, but then we did a great job pitching out of jams from there,” Nakama said. “And a lot of different guys did that for us. Hopefully they gained some confidence from that.”
Andre Mercurio’s RBI-double to right-center gave SJSU a 10-7 lead in the top of the ninth inning. Myles Richard took over on the mound and quickly gave up a leadoff double and a single to begin the bottom of the ninth. But Richard held his poise and got Whiting to ground into a 4-6-3 double play and then struck out Dominic Jose looking to end the game.
San José State eclipsed its win total from a year ago by one game with its 18th win on the final day of the regular season. The victory also halted a three-game skid against Stanford dating back to 2013.
The Spartans have the rest of the week off before heading to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Mountain West Championship Tournament. SJSU will battle Air Force in the tourney’s first contest, a win-or-go-home play-in game at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 21.
“Everybody starts at zero now,” Nakama said. “It’s up to these kids, and I think anything can happen.”
NOTES: Alex Blandino hit his Pac-12 leading ninth homer of the year, a two-run shot, in the bottom of the first inning off of Spartans starter Jace Puckett…A four-run comeback is the largest of the season for SJSU…10 runs in a game ties the team’s single-game high in 2014.
San Jose State 10, Stanford 8 (May 13, 2014 at Stanford, Calif.)
San Jose State...... 000 405 001 - 10 12 1 (18-36)
Stanford............ 301 110 101 - 8 14 2 (24-22)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Puckett, Jace; BERUMEN, Jackson(2); WRIGHT, Michael(5);
GLAWE, James(7); RICHARD, Myles(9) and Gallegos, Kyle. Stanford - Viall, Chris;
Thorne, Tyler(4); Castellanos, Chris(4); Lindquist, Sam(6); Brakeman, Marcus(6) and
Win-WRIGHT, Michael(2-4) Save-RICHARD, Myles(5) Loss-Castellanos, Chris(0-1) T-2:58 A-1487
HR STAN - Blandino, Alex (9).
Weather: 80, clear
Viall, C faced 2 batters in the 4th.