Spartans Pitch Their Way Past SDSU, 2-1, To Even Series

Josh Nashed faced the minimum en route to his first career save.
May 20, 2016

Box Score

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Hilario Tovar went a career-high 7.0 innings and Josh Nashed posted his first career save in San José State’s 2-1 win over San Diego State on Friday night inside a blustery Municipal Stadium.

The Spartans (17-37, 7-22 MW) evened the weekend series with the Aztecs (18-36, 10-19 MW) and, combined with Air Force’s win over New Mexico earlier in the day, locked SDSU into the No. 6 seed in next week’s Mountain West Championship. That means San José State and San Diego State will face off in the play-in game on Wednesday, May 25 in Albuquerque.

Tovar (W, 3-4) gave the Spartans exactly what they needed Friday night as their offense worked its way through a scoreless drought dating back to the fourth inning of Sunday’s ballgame in Long Beach. The sophomore right-hander logged a career-high 7.0 innings and scattered three hits while allowing just an unearned run on two walks and four strikeouts.

His lone run allowed came in the fourth inning, when Chase Calabuig became the first Aztec to reach base on the evening when he struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt but the ball kicked away from Joe Stefanki. Two batters later, Tyler Adkison collected the first SDSU hit of the night with a line drive into right center, and a misplay by Hunter Tidwell allowed Calabuig to score from first.

San José State was quick to answer, though. Brendt Citta led off the home half of the fourth with an infield single off Aztec starter Brett Seeburger (L, 1-3) and Shane Timmons followed up with a seeing-eye single through the right side. After Nashed, who started the game as the designated hitter, sacrificed both runners up a base, Ozzy Braff cashed in with a sac fly to left to make it 1-1 and end the drought at 18.2 innings.

Another leadoff single in the Spartan’s next trip to the plate, this time by Michael Breen, sparked the eventual winning rally. Breen was forced out at second after a failed sac bunt by Dillan Smith, but Seeburger then balked Smith into scoring position and Aaron Pleschner made it hurt with an RBI single into left field.

The Aztecs went down quietly in the sixth, but made Tovar labor in the seventh. A two-out double followed by an infield single put runners on the corners for Denz’l Chapman, who smoked a ball that was destined for right field until Braff leaped and snared it out of the air to preserve the lead.

Nashed took over to start the eighth and made his first career save look easy. Nashed, who came out of the bullpen 10 times last year as a freshman but had not done so this year, retired each of the six hitters he faced in his 2.0 innings of work and struck out one.

The three total hits by SDSU represented a season low by a Spartan opponent this season.

The series and regular season wrap up Saturday at 1:00 p.m. from Municipal Stadium. San José State will honor its five seniors in a pregame ceremony.

San Jose State 2, San Diego State 1 (May 20, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.)
San Diego State..... 000 100 000 - 1 3 2 (18-36, 10-19 MW)
San Jose State...... 000 110 00X - 2 5 1 (17-37, 7-22 MW)
Pitchers: San Diego State - SEEBURGER, Brett; PYATT, Harrison(7) and STRATTON, Hunter.
San Jose State - Tovar, Hilario; NASHED, Josh(8) and Stefanki, Joe; Koga, Cal.
Win-TOVAR, Hilario(3-4) Save-NASHED, Josh(1) Loss-SEEBURGER, Brett(1-3) T-2:04 A-407
Weather: 64 degrees, clear skies