A late-inning rally by Louisiana Tech fell short as San Jose State defeated the Bulldogs, 12-8, in the third and final game of the weekend for a 2-1 series victory over Tech at Municipal Stadium in San Jose.
Tech (12-21, 2-7 WAC) scored two runs in the seventh inning to cut San Jose State's (11-21, 5-4 WAC) lead to 9-8 before a three-run home run by pinch hitter Nick Schulz in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Spartans the victory in a back-and-forth contest Sunday afternoon.
"It's disheartening because our guys have shown so much improvement offensively," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "[San Jose State] had a lot of breaks go their way and we didn't. It is what it is, and our guys have to realize that and we have to fight through this. It's just a matter of putting it all together and playing good baseball."
Jason Kafka (3-2) came on for the Spartans in the fourth inning and allowed two runs – both earned – off five hits in 2.1 innings of work. Kafka relieved starter Johnny Melero, who allowed six runs – all earned off nine hits in 3.2 innings. Kalei Contrades (2) pitched the final three innings for the Spartans and picked up his second save of the season.
Reliever Caleb Dudley (0-4) was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs off 10 hits in two innings of work. Dudley came on in relief of starter Trevor Petersen with two outs in the third. Luke Giddens relieved Dudley in the fifth. Sam Alvis pitched the final 1.1 innings of play and gave up three runs – all earned – off two hits.
Tech scored first on an RBI single by third baseman Taylor Terrasas in the top half of the first inning to score Ryan Gebhardt and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead over San Jose State. The 'Dogs were held scoreless until a five-run fourth inning gave Tech life. Terrasas led off the fourth with a single followed by a two-run home run by Tyler Ervine and a solo shot by Sam Alvis. Tyler Qualls doubled down the right field line later in the inning to plate two runs and give Tech a 6-2 lead after four innings of play.
San Jose State responded quickly in the bottom half of the fourth by scoring six runs off eight hits, seven of those hits coming with two outs, to give the Spartans an 8-6 advantage. The inning was highlighted by a three-run homer to left field by Spartan right fielder Michael Gerlach. The Spartans added a run in the fifth off an RBI single by designated hitter Matt Carroll for a 9-6 lead over the Bulldogs.
Tech added two runs in the seventh inning to cut San Jose State's lead to one after Kimbell recorded an RBI single followed by a bases loaded hit by pitch for Sam Alvis to give the Spartans a slim 9-8 advantage.
Every one of Tech's starters recorded at least one hit on the day, while Terrasas led the Bulldogs with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Gebhardt, Ervine, Alvis and Kody Neel each recorded two hits apiece in the loss. Tech totaled 15 hits as a team, which is a season-high for the Bulldogs in 2013.
Michael Gerlach led the Spartans with a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a run scored, five RBI and a home run. Catcher Dane Lund and left fielder Tim Quiery each totaled three hits each to help lead San Jose State to a victory.
The Bulldogs will continue their seven-game road trip as Tech will travel to face WAC-foe Texas State beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday in San Marcos, Texas.