LAS VEGAS – In a back and forth affair that saw five lead changes, it was San José State’s three run eighth inning that put the Spartans up for good, en route to a 7-4 win over UNLV in a conference matchup.
SJSU improved its Mountain West conference record to 9-17-1 to move ahead of the Rebels (9-19 MW) to sixth in the conference standings. SJSU’s overall record is 18-34-1, while the Rebels are 19-35.
Trailing 4-3 heading to the eighth, the Spartans put two runners on base on a Chris Williams (1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB) leadoff walk, followed by a Josh Nashed (2-for-5, 2 R) single. Shane Timmons (3-for-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB) belted a triple to the left center gap to drive home Williams and Nashed to put the Spartans up 5-4. Timmons would later score on a Kellen Strahm (0-for-4, RBI) sacrifice fly to make it 6-4, its first two run lead of the game.
For Timmons, it was his third extra base hit of the game.
In the opening frame, the junior first baseman tripled down the right field line scoring Williams from second for the first run of the game for the Spartans.
In the sixth, with SJSU trailing 2-1, the Mission Viejo, Calif., native doubled home Nashed that tied the game at 2-2.
The top of the SJSU order scored all seven runs, including two runs each by the number two to four hitters, Williams, Nashed and Timmons.
The middle of the Spartan lineup drove in the all seven runs, led by Timmons’ four RBI and an RBI each by Joseph Stefanki (1-for-4, RBI), pinch hitter Corey Olivet (1-for-1, RBI) and Strahm.
Johnny Mendoza, who started behind the dish for San José State collected three hits. It was the freshman’s first three hit game of the season.
The Spartan pitching staff gave up four hits in the game but issued 11 walks. Each of the four Spartan pitchers gave up only one hit including starter Matt Brown who pitched 4 1/3 innings before being pulled in favor of Cameron Keup.
Brown allowed just one hit but walked seven and was charged with two earned runs.
Zach Wallace pitched two innings and the lone hit he allowed was a two-run home run to Rebel third baseman Cooper Esmay that gave UNLV a 4-3 lead in the seventh.
The lead was short lived however due to Timmons’ heroics in the eighth.
Closer Josh Goldberg picked up his sixth save of the season getting the final six outs of the game.
Wallace picked up the win and is now 3-0 on the season. Blaze Bohall took the loss for the Rebels, dropping his record to 2-5.
Game two of the season ending series is scheduled for Friday, May 19. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. PT.