By Ryan Barnhart
San Jose State (16-33-1, 8-17-1 MW) was pummeled 7-2 by the University of San Francisco (27-26) Sunday night in what was the Dons’ third victory in as many days against the Spartans.
USF struck first for the third time in a row this series, scoring their first run on a pair of doubles in the third inning. Following a wild pitch that moved Matt Sinatro to third base, the Spartans would catch a series of breaks, tagging him out at home and another on an attempt to steal second.
SJSU would quickly respond in the bottom of the third with a combination of speed and a solid ground attack. After center fielder Kellen Strahm reached first safely and advanced to second on a groundout, he would later steal third and immediately score following a base hit up the middle by Josh Nashed to tie the score at one apiece.
The Spartans were aggressive on the basepaths that inning, stealing twice and advancing on a wild pitch. However, the Spartans would squander the opportunity on an inning-ending double play from Aaron Pleschner.
Starter Joseph Balfour was inconsistent for most of the game, but was able to successfully pitch a shutdown inning in the top of the fourth. He would end the game after six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits with one walks and three K’s. SJSU’s took a brief lead in the bottom of the inning, beginning with a triple into the left field corner from Kyle Morrison. Michael Breen’s grounder would score Morrison, giving the Spartans their first lead of the series.
The lead would be short-lived, as the Dons would answer back in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, USF would pull ahead on a bases-clearing triple from Nico Giarratano. The Dons would score four runs total in the inning, bringing the score to 5-2.
From there, the Spartans would be held scoreless throughout the rest of the game. A two-run homer from Dominic Miroglio would all but seal the victory for the Dons, leading to a final score of 7-2.
With the loss on Sunday, SJSU has only four games left on the season to crawl out from last place in the Mountain West Conference. The Spartans play their last home game of the season Monday night against USF.