The San Diego State University baseball team took on the San Jose State Spartans at Municipal Stadium over the weekend for a three game series which concluded Sunday afternoon. The Aztecs won the last two games of the series after dropping the first game of the season to start with a 2-1 record. This was the first meeting between the two teams since 1999 and it improved SDSU’s overall record against San Jose State to 54-27. With San Jose State joining the Mountain West this year, it marks the first time SDSU has opened their season with conference games.
Game 1: San Diego State 4, San Jose State 6
In the opening game of the 2014 season, the Aztecs sent out ace Michael Cederoth in hopes of securing their first win of the year. The Aztecs struck first in the top of the third against SJSU pitcher Johnny Melero when Seby Zavala drove in Evan Potter with a two-out infield single. The Spartans came right back with two unearned runs to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the third. SDSU continued the scoring in the fourth when Brad Haynal drove in Spencer Thornton to tie the game. Spartan relief pitcher Kalei Contrades ended Melero’s night, but immediately gave up two runs on a Potter RBI ground out scoring Ty France and a Greg Allen RBI single that knocked home Haynal. All four Aztec runs were charged to Melero. Yet, both times the Aztecs were able to grab a lead, the Spartans answered right back. San Jose scored three runs in their half of the fourth, which cut Cederoth’s night short and gave the Spartans a lead they would never relinquish. Contrades retired 14 consecutive Aztec hitters from the fourth to the eighth to stifle any hopes of an Aztec comeback. SDSU relief pitcher Justin Hepner was effective, retiring eight straight batters before giving up a run in the eighth to seal the Spartans’ 6-4 victory. Offensively, the Aztecs were led by shortstop Evan Potter who had two hits, an RBI, and scored a run.
W: Contrades (1-0) 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, K, 2 BB
L: Cederoth (0-1) 3.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 R, 6 K, 4 BB
Game 2: San Diego State 5, San Jose State 3
After a disappointing season opener, SDSU was determined to get in the win column. Mike Robards took the mound for the Aztecs and started the game throwing five scoreless innings. The Aztec offense grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the second on a Brad Haynal sacrifice fly that scored Zavala. However, their breakout inning didn’t come until the sixth. Seby Zavala and Spencer Thornton, both 2013 redshirts, scored on a Ty France double, knocking out San Jose State starter Jonathan Hernandez. France scored on an ensuing Haynal double to extend the Aztecs lead to 4-0. They added one more run on a Tim Zier single to cap off a four run sixth inning. The Spartans’ Matt Carroll smacked a two-run homerun in their half of the sixth to put San Jose State on the board. SDSU closer Bubba Derby came in for Robards with two outs in the seventh and closed out the rest of the game, allowing one run in the ninth to make the final score 5-3. Haynal and France led the offensive charge with two RBIs each, while Robards’ pitching shut down the Spartan offense.
W: Robards (1-0) 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, K, BB
L: Hernandez (0-1) 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, K, BB
S: Derby (1) 2.1 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 2 K
Game 3: San Diego State 13, San Jose State 8
The Aztecs came into the rubber match looking to take the series from the Spartans. The offenses for both teams were in full swing on Sunday afternoon. SDSU scored first for the third time in as many games. Greg Allen led off the game with a single and eventually scored on a Seby Zavala ground out. The following inning, Ty France smacked a double to left and scored on a double from Allen. SDSU starter Mark Seyler had a shaky start with bases loaded, no out jams in each of the first two innings. After getting out of the first inning unscathed, Seyler paid the price allowing four earned runs on three hits and four walks. Brett Seeburger relieved Seyler in the second with the bases still loaded. Seeburger immediately allowed four hits and three runs that inning which gave San Jose an early 7-2 lead. The Aztecs started to claw back in the fourth, with an Evan Potter two-out HBP. Allen’s double drove in Potter and Tim Zier followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to 7-4. Spartans starter Jace Puckett lasted four innings and gave up four runs on six hits.
In the fifth, the Aztecs exploded for seven runs against relief pitcher Michael Wright, who lasted only one-third of an inning. The big hit of the inning was a Brad Haynal three-run homerun to left field to give the Aztecs a 9-7 lead. The Aztecs batted around in the fifth and seven players got hits, including Tyler Adkison’s first base knock as an Aztec. San Jose State got one run back in the bottom of the fifth on a Matt Lopez RBI single, but the Aztecs scored two more in the sixth to make it 13-8. While the offense connected for 13 runs and 15 hits, a big part of the Aztec effort was relief pitcher Brett Seeburger. After his rough start to the second inning, in which he inherited a bases loaded situation, Seeburger settled down and threw a solid eight innings, giving the Aztec offense a chance to come back. Every Aztec in the lineup got at least one hit and Tony Gwynn’s squad was able to leave Municipal Stadium with a winning record.
W: Seeburger (1-0) 8 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 K
L: Wright (0-1) 0.1 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, BB
The next matchup between these teams will be a three game series at Tony Gwynn Stadium beginning on April 25. The next game for SDSU will be a home game on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. against Loyola Marymount.
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