Spartans Drop Series Finale With Seattle U 6-3

San Jose, Calif. – San Jose State and Seattle U had a scoreless tie after four innings, but a five-run burst in the Redhawks’ fifth proved to be the difference maker in a 6-3 Western Athletic Conference loss for the Spartans on Sunday at Municipal Stadium.

SJSU sent three pitchers to the hill in the fifth. Starter Johnny Melero (0-6) issued two one-out walks in a row before head coach Dave Nakama called in Jason Kafka (3-2) from the pen. Kafka gave up a pinch-hit RBI-single to Cullen Hendrickson and then walked Chase Fields to load the bases before he was replaced by Kyle Hassna (2-4). A 1-0 pitch to Hassna’s first batter Landon Cray was ripped down the right-field line and went all the way into the corner allowing a bases-clearing triple to make it 4-0. Cray scored one batter later on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.

“It’s the same old story,” Nakama said. “You walk two guys and then give up a five-spot. It’s the story of our year. We can’t stay away from the big inning.”

After the teams traded runs in the sixth to make it 6-1, Nick Schulz (3) hit a two-run jack in the eighth. The line drive hugged the left-field line and stayed just inside the foul pole to cut the lead to 6-3. 

The Spartans made noise in the ninth when Andre Mercurio singled and went to third on Sheldon Daquioag’s double down the left-field line. Matt Carroll represented the tying run at the plate, but he grounded a 1-0 pitch to third base to end the game.

“Give the other guys credit,” Nakama said. “Their guy threw really well, and we didn’t follow our approach. They just outplayed us today.”

Andrew Olson picked up the win for Seattle U, improving his record to 4-4. Olson threw 6.2 innings and gave up seven hits and only one run that was unearned.

The Spartan loss Sunday gave the Redhawks a 2-1 series victory. They’re now within half a game of San Jose State who drops to eighth in the WAC standings with UTSA’s victory over Dallas Baptist.

Mercurio extended his active hitting streak to eight games which ties a career long. Daquioag also extended his hitting streak to a season-long 13 games.

Now the Spartans begin a stretch where nine of the next 10 games are on the road. It starts Tuesday April 30 with a game at USF and rolls on next weekend in WAC play at New Mexico State.

Seattle U 6, San Jose State 3 (Apr 28, 2013 at San Jose, Calif.)
Seattle U........... 000 051 000  -  6  9  1      (17-25, 7-10 WAC)
San Jose State...... 000 001 020  -  3 10  1      (14-29, 8-10 WAC)
Pitchers: Seattle U - Olson, Andrew; Moore, Connor(7); Yardley, Eric(8) and Olson, Brian.
San Jose State - Melero, Johnny; Kafka, Jason(5); Hassna, Kyle(5); Contrades, Kalei(6) and
Lund, Dane.
Win-Olson, Andrew(4-4)  Save-Yardley, Eric(9)  Loss-Melero, Johnny(0-6)  T-2:29  A-508
HR SJSU - Schulz, Nick (3).
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees
Kafka faced 2 batters in the 5th.