Lund's Hit Gives Baseball A 2-1 Walk-Off Win

San Jose, Calif. – San Jose State’s ninth-place hitter Dane Lund wound up in the pinnacle baseball situation during Friday night’s Western Athletic Conference game at Municipal Stadium; and he delivered.

In the bottom of the ninth inning of a 1-1 tie with two outs, bases loaded, a full count and the crowd on its feet, Lund chopped one down the third-base line and beat out the charging fielder’s throw by half a step for a walk-off 2-1 defeat of CSU Bakersfield.

“I dug in with a full count and I just put it in the right place,” Lund said. “He was trying to quick-pitch me, and with a full count I was able to put it a good spot.”

The Spartans (16-37, 10-15 WAC) scored both runs in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Schulz started things with a single to right-center field. He scored the tying run on Sheldon Daquioag’s single through the right side.

Roadrunners (34-20, 17-8 WAC) reliever Taylor Aikenhead walked his first two batters in the ninth, Tim Quiery and Ricky Acosta, on a total of nine pitches. The walks set the stage for Lund, who also watched three straight balls from Aikenhead.

“After it went 3-0, I knew that I wasn’t going to swing until I had to,” said Lund. “I knew where it was off the bat and I just went my hardest to the base. There is no feeling like that outside of sports. That’s why I play right there.”

San Jose State’s rally in the ninth gave them the edge in what was an absolute pitcher’s duel.

David Wayne Russo struck out a career-high seven in seven strong innings for San Jose State. Two of the seven came in the sixth with bases loaded and the Spartans down 1-0. Russo got Kevin younger swinging and froze Jordie Hein to get out of the inning unscathed.

“With bases loaded I knew it was a situation where I had to toughen up,” said Russo. “It was a pivotal point in the game and I just took it one pitch at a time.”

Kalei Contrades took over for Russo in the eighth and went on to be the winning pitcher improving to 2-3.

Jeff McKenzie suffered only his second loss of the season for the Roadrunners. He pitched 8.2 innings allowing eight hits and was charged with the runs in the ninth.

“Bakersfield is a great team and they are well coached,” said SJSU head coach Dave Nakama. “I thought Russo pitched a great game and then we just had good at-bats late in the game.”

The win gives the eighth-place Spartans a one-game lead over Seattle U in the WAC Standings. The Spartans have two games left against CSU Bakersfield while Seattle U’s regular season ends tomorrow against New Mexico State. One more win is all is will take for SJSU to clinch a spot in the WAC Championship tournament next week in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Hassna (3-5, 2.81) will start for SJSU in game two of the series tomorrow. The Roadrunners send righty Scott Brattvet (8-1, 2.70) to the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PDT.

San Jose State 2, CSU Bakersfield 1 (May 17, 2013 at San Jose, Calif.)
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CSU Bakersfield..... 000 010 000  -  1  9  0      (34-20, 17-8 WAC)
San Jose State...... 000 000 002  -  2  9  1      (16-37, 10-15 WAC)
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Pitchers: CSU Bakersfield - Jeff McKenzie; Taylor Aikenhead(9) and Frank Martinez.
San Jose State - Russo, David Wayne; Contrades, Kalei(8) and Lund, Dane.
Win-Contrades, Kalei(2-3)  Loss-Jeff McKenzie(12-2)  T-2:16  A-423
Weather: Sunny, windy, 67 degrees
Aikenhead faced 3 batters in the 9th.