San Jose State Takes Battle Of Arms Over Pacific Baseball
The Pacific baseball team fell to San Jose State, 3-0, Thursday in the opener of a three-game series, as five Spartan pitchers combined for the shutout.
Senior CF/SS Josh Simms had two of Pacific's five hits in the ballgame.
San Jose State LHP Johnny Melero allowed two hits in five innings of work with a pair of strikeouts before giving way to RHP Jason Kafka and RHP Kalei Contrades, who each pitched a shutout inning.
Pacific starter RHP Michael Benson matched him zero for zero until the seventh.
Benson allowed a leadoff single in the seventh to LF Tim Quiery, and was replaced by senior RHP Thomas Berolzheimer. Berolzheimer struckout the first man he faced, but C Kyle Gallegos pulled a double into the corner for a 1-0 SJSU lead. CF Andre Mercurio followed with a single to right before Berolzheimer coaxed an inning-ending double-play.
The Spartans' tacked on another in the eighth, as 1B Matt Lopez singled off senior RHP Jared Wagner to open the inning. After Wagner struck out Contrades, 3B Tyler Christian pulled a double into the left field corner for an issuance run. Sophomore LHP Paul Moeller recorded a pair of groundouts to get out of the inning and combined with senior RHP Chris Larsen to post a zero in the ninth.
The Tigers threatened in the eighth off RHP Mike Aldrete, as PH Tyger Pederson walked and PH Brett Christopher fisted a single over third base to set up first and second with one out. Simms singled to center to load the bases, but Aldrete was bailed out by the pitcher's best friend: a tailor made double-play to end the inning.
RHP Zack Jones tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save of the season. Kafka (1-0) earned the win with one hit allowed in one inning of work. Benson (2-4) was saddled with the loss, allowing one earned in six innings on five hits with three strikeouts.
Junior 3B Dustin Torchio and sophomore 2B Curtis Gomez each finished the day one for four. Senior RF Allen Riley walked and stole a base and provided the defensive play of the game. With two on and two out in the Spartan fifth, 2B Jacob Valdez hammered a pitch to deep right, chasing Riley to the wall. He leapt and hauled it in near the top of the fence to keep the game scoreless.
Game two of the split-site series is set for a 6 p.m. Friday first pitch at Pacific's Klein Family Field. RHP Esteban Guzman will be the starting pitcher for San Jose State (13-13), while LHP Kyle Crawford gets the call for Pacific (9-20). The series moves to Municipal Stadium in San Jose for Saturday's game three at 1 p.m.