Baseball Rallies Late, Falls To New Mexico State

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose State baseball team fought to the end Saturday, loading the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings but only got one late run, as New Mexico State defeated San Jose State, 4-2, in game two of a Western Athletic Conference series at Municipal Stadium.
 
The Spartans (22-28, 5-12 WAC) loaded the bases with no outs trailing by three runs in the ninth. Anthony Bona extended his streak to reaching safely in seven straight pinch-hit appearances thanks to a leadoff single in the ninth. Richie Johnson walked and Jacob Valdez was hit by a pitch to load them up.

Jon Nelson drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-2, but Nick Schulz followed with a foul out to first base and Matt Lopez struck out looking to end the game.

San Jose State had also loaded the bases with less than two outs in the previous inning. Lopez was hit by a pitch and then Tim Quiery and Kyle Gallegos followed with one-out singles. The threat ended, however, when pinch hitter Caleb Natov grounded into a double play, keeping the score at 3-1.

The Aggies (34-20, 10-7 WAC) added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Parker Hipp, making it 4-1. Hipp finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk.

With Saturday's loss, San Jose State is eliminated from postseason competition.

AGGIES RALLY EARLY AGAIN
 
New Mexico State scored runs in the first inning for the second straight game, taking a 2-0 lead against Spartans starter David Wayne Russo. The Aggies got help with a bloop double to short center field to lead off the game, and another looping hit two batters later - a lazy fly ball down the left field line that was narrowly fair - to go up 1-0.

Tanner Rust brought in the Aggies' second run with a sacrifice fly. Rust would finish 2-for-3 with an RBI, one of four Aggies to have multiple hits. New Mexico State ended with 11 hits, the 30th time this season the team has had double-digit hits in a game.

STRONG PITCHING

Russo (2-3) took the loss in the Spartans' second straight quality start. He threw 7 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs, scattering nine hits with six strikeouts. The left-hander retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced after giving three hits to the first four batters he faced, and induced three double plays in the game.

"For me it's mostly focusing on controlling on what I can control," said Russo about giving up the early runs. "Later in the game I started to be able to control (my breaking ball). I went out there and did what I needed to do."
 
Facing Russo was Aggies starter Adam Mott (6-2), who earned his sixth win of the year with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. The Spartans had four of their six hits off Mott in the first two innings and scored their lone run against the right-hander in the second inning. Gallegos led off the inning with a double to left field and Tyler Christian brought him in with an RBI single.

After that, Mott retired nine of the next 12 batters and at one point retired nine straight before the Spartans loaded the bases in the eighth to chase him. Scott Coffman earned his eighth save of the season despite loading the bases and allowing a run in the ninth.

The Spartans' season concludes Sunday with a 1 p.m. game against New Mexico State at Municipal Stadium. San Jose State will honor six seniors in a pregame ceremony scheduled to begin at 12:50 p.m.

New Mexico State 4, San Jose State 2 (May 19, 2012 at San Jose, Calif.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
New Mexico State.... 200 010 001  -  4 11  0      (34-20, 10-7 WAC)
San Jose State........ 010 000 001  -  2  7  1      (22-28, 5-12 WAC)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: New Mexico State - Adam Mott; Robert Kraft(8); Scott Coffman(9) and Zac Fisher. San Jose State - Russo, David Wayne; Contrades, Kalei(8) and Gallegos, Kyle.
Win-Adam Mott (6-2)  Save-Scott Coffman (8)  Loss-Russo, David Wayne (2-3)  T-2:53  A-417
Weather: Sunny, 77 F, 8 mph to left