SJSU Bats Come Alive in 14-3 Romp of La Tech

Two five-run innings propelled San Jose State past Louisiana Tech 14-3 on Saturday in an elimination game of Napa Auto Parts WAC Tournament Napa Auto Parts WAC Baseball Tournament at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu. Hawai'i. The win means the No. 1 seed Spartans will face No. 4 New Mexico State later this evening. Louisiana Tech is eliminated from the tourney.

San Jose State senior Jack Adams took the mound and went five innings for the Spartans and the win to go 4-1 on the year. Redshirt freshman Mike Jefferson started for Louisiana Tech but only survived two innings and took the loss. In his last start, Adams threw the first complete game of his college career on May 15 in a 3-2 win over Nevada.

The Spartans wasted no time in getting runners across the plate as sophomore Jason Martin opened the game with a walk, and senior John Shaffer homered to left to put SJSU up 2-0 with nobody out in the top of the first. Junior Kyle Bellows grounded out to shortstop for the first out of the inning. Junior Corey Valine then singled to center, but was doubled up when sophomore Danny Steinstra hit a line drive to La Tech senior shortstop Chris Kersten, who fired a throw to first that caught Valine before he could get back.

La Tech attacked early in their half of the first when senior Patrick Thomas hit a drive to the gap in right center field for a double. Senior Nick Grunenwald sacrificed Thomas to third with a bunt back to Adams, who threw to first for the first out. Thomas scored when senior Kevin Winn hit a grounded out to second. Junior Devon Dageford grounded back to Adams for the final out of the inning.

San Jose State led the WAC in batters hit-by-pitches with 100 on the season. There seemed to be no relief on the tournament as freshman Anthony Bona was hit by a 3-0 pitch to lead off the second. Senior Jacob Bruns followed with a pop-up to second base. Senior Anthony Aguilera reached first after the third strike got by La Tech sophomore catcher Clint Ewing. SJSU was threatening again with runners on first and second with one out. Freshman Michael Reiling, making his first start in the tournament, flew out to center for the second out. Martin flied out to right to end the SJSU half of the second.

Kersten ripped an 0-1 pitch down the left field line for a double to begin the Bulldog half of the second. Adams sent the next three down in order as freshman Alex Williams followed with a fly ball to center for the first out, and freshman Mark Threlkeld struck out swinging on an 0-2 pitch. Freshman Kyle Rollard finished the inning with a ground out to Bellows at short.

Shaffer walked on four-straight pitched to lead off the third. Bellows got back on the hitting track with a double down the left field line. Valine singled up the middle to score Shaffer and Bellows, and that was it for Jefferson. Sophomore right hander Casey Jones entered the game to face Steinstra with no outs and Valine at first. Valine went to second when Steinstra hit a grounder to the left of La Tech second baseman Winn, who's only option was to get the out at first. Valine moved to third when Bona singled to left. However, any further Spartan scoring threat was cut short when Bruns grounded into a double play.

Adams took out the first two Bulldogs in the bottom of the third Ewing flew out to center and senior Patrick Thomas struck swinging on a 1-2 pitch. Adams then hit Grunenwald, who promptly stole second base. No damage was done as Winn grounded out to Reiling at second. San Jose State led 4-1 after three.

Aguilera started off the fourth with a liner right to La Tech shortstop Kersten for the first out. Reiling followed up with a double down the left field line. Martin flied out to left, and SJSU left Reiling on second when Shaffer grounded to third for the final out.

Adams hit his second batter in as many innings when he pegged Dageford on a 3-2 pitch. The Bulldogs attempted a hit-and-run play but Kersten whiffed on a 1-2 pitch to strikeout, and Dageford was nailed at second for the double play. Williams then flied out to left.

Bellows led off the fifth with his second hit of the game, knocking the first pitch into left field. Bellows went to third when Jones threw a Valine sacrifice bunt past Williams at first. Valine then went on to second. Steinstra walked to load the bases for designated hitter Anthony Bona. The freshman singled to third, scoring Bellows and advancing Valine and Steinstra. Sophomore Mike LeBreton came on to pitch for La Tech and he got Bruns to strike out on four pitches. The bases were still loaded with only one out when Aguilera came to the plate to face LeBreton. The Spartan catcher took LeBreton to a full count before hitting a single to right that scored Valine. Steinstra was forced at home when Reiling hit a grounder to third. LeBreton then walked Martin to bring Bona home, putting SJSU up 7-1 with two outs. Shaffer made it 9-1 with a double into right-center, scoring Reiling and Aguilera. The bases were loaded once again when Bellows walked to reach base safely for the second time in the inning. Then, Valine hit a grounder to third that forced out Shaffer to end the Spartan barrage.

Threlkheld struck out swinging, then freshman Kyle Rollard walked. Ewing took a 3-2 Adams pitch and put it over the left field fence. Thomas then hit a grounder to first for the second out. Grunenwald hit his first offering from Adams into center. Winn singled to center himself and Grunenwald went to third. Winn was forced out for the third out when Dageford grounded to Bellows at short.

Freshman Cody Watts started the sixth on the mound for La Tech and faced Danny Steinstra, who flied out to center. Sophomore Craig Hertler pinch hit for Bona, and singled to left center. Bruns hit a 1-1 pitch down the left field line for a double, putting Hertler on third. Aguilera struck out swinging and Reiling hit a line drive to short to end the inning.

Senior Anthony Vega came in to pitch for SJSU in the bottom of the sixth. Adams went five innings, allowing five hits and three runs, all earned. He walked one and struck out four. Vega walked the first batter he face, Chris Kersten, on five pitches. Williams then hit a 3-2 pitch to Shaffer in left for the first out. Freshman Ashton Hughes pinch hit for Threlkeld and flied out to center field. Rollard singled to left center with Kersten moving the third. This put runners on the corners with two outs for No. 9 hitter Clint Ewing, who grounded to shortstop, forcing Rollard at second.

Kerston moved to third base for the Bulldogs in the top of the seventh, and Hughes went in at shortstop.

Martin hit the first pitch of the inning for an infield single. Shaffer walked on four pitches. Rollard came on in relief of Watts. Bellows singeld to left to load the bases with no outs. Martin scored to make it 10-1 when Valine singled to center. Shaffer was forced out at home when Steinstra dinked a ground back to Rollard. Craig Hertler came on as designated hitter and slammed a double to left center that scored Bellows, Valine, and Steinstra. Hertler then crossed home himself when junior Karson Klauer, pinch hitting for Bruns, knocked a sacrifice fly to left field. Aguilera then struck out swinging on an 0-2 pitch to end the second five-run inning for the Spartans.

Sophomore Tommy Gale went into the game at right field for SJSU.

Thomas flied out to left to start the inning. Grunenwald then popped a 3-2 pitch to first for the second out, and Winn struck out swinging to end the seventh, and with the 11-run lead the 10-run mercy rule is activated, and the game ended.

San Jose State improves to 41-19 on the year and will face New Mexico State tonight at 7:00 p.m. local time (10:00 p.m. PDT)

Keep up on all the latest San Jose State team and recruiting news by signing up for a Total Access Pass. For as little as $7.95 per month you'll have access to all Network content including videos. Your support allows Inside Sparta to continue bringing you the very best in Spartan news. Sign up today and get a 7-Day free trial!

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at

Better yet, join the rest of the Inside Sparta community in discussions of this article, and more, on the Inside Sparta Discussion Forums!

Inside TheSpartans Top Stories