Spartans Baseball Defeats Fresno State 6-5

The San Jose State baseball team overcame a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the defending National Champion Fresno State Bulldogs by a score of 6-5.

San Jose State shortstop Kyle Bellows hit a line drive to right-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning, which allowed pinch runner Michael Reiling to score the game winning run from first base. The Spartans entered the bottom of the ninth down three runs, but chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead, thanks to a throwing error and timely hits that found gaps. The 6-5 victory allowed the Spartans to tie the four game weekend series with Fresno State at two wins each.

Senior relief pitcher Tyler Heil went 6.1 innings to notch his third win of the season in only five appearances
Senior Tyler Heil went 6-1/3 innings in relief to pick up the win. SJSU head coach Sam Piraro said after the game that he had no intention of letting Heil stay in that long, but found him getting stronger as the game went on. "Today was the best outting that he's had (as a pitcher)," Piraro said. "It was a great outting and he's the guy that gave us the chance to win."

The Spartans took full advantage of the opportunity presented to them when Fresno State shortstop Danny Muno took a routine grounder hit by SJSU centerfielder Jason Martin and threw it in the dirt in front of FSU first baseman Alan Ahmady, who couldn't scoop it up for the out. Sophomore second baseman Craig Hertler then singled to left-center, advancing Martin to second. Martin scored when senior left fielder John Shaffer hit a shot to left.

Freshman first baseman Anthony Bona hit into a fielders choice that allowed Hertler to advance to third. Freshman Michael Reiling came in to pinch-run for Bona.

The Spartans tied it when another freshman, third baseman Josh Silver, hit a sacrifice fly to center, which scored Hertler from third. The stage was now set for junior shortstop Kyle Bellows. With the winning run at first base Reiling, Bellows launched an 0-2 pitch from FSU reliever Holden Sprague into the gap in right-center field. Reisling raced around the bases and scored standing up to give the Spartans the come-from-behind victory. "They'd been pounding me inside the whole game, and my last at bat they started throwing outside," Bellows said. "They threw outside before they threw that last pitch and I knew they were coming over there again. I just put the barrel on it and it flew in the outfield and we won the game."

Junior Kyle Bellows knocked this hit into right-center field to score Michael Reiling from first base to give SJSU a 6-5 win on Sunday
Down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Shaffer started the journey back for the Spartans when he cranked a 1-1 pitch from Sprague over the left field fence for his third home run of the season.

But it was Heil who made it all possible. Coming in with SJSU in the hole 5-2 and didn't allow another FSU run. In only his fifth start since switching from infielder to pitcher, Heil is now 3-0 on the season. "I was kind of nervous because I wasn't sure if I could last that long," Heil said. "My arm held up and it is very gratifying to get there because I haven't been doing this very long."

For the complete game story and box score please visit SJSUSpartans.com



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Mike Morgan is Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at mike@insidesparta.com


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