The San Jose State baseball team finally broke its 10-game losing streak with a 4-3 walk-off win against University of Oregon (UO) Monday afternoon at Excite Ballpark.
“Anybody’s gonna face adversity during the season and this is our adversity,” said head coach Brad Sanfilippo. “I’m proud that we got a win. It reaffirms the beliefs of these guys that we can win and we can still compete to win the Mountain West Conference.”
UO opened up the game in the first inning with a quick 2-0 lead. It took SJSU 5 innings to score their first run.
Junior right-handed pitcher Anders Davidson scored off of a double made by freshman James Shimashita in the 5th inning.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Connor Konishi pitched until the 5th inning and was relieved by senior left-handed pitcher Zach Wallace after the Duck’s tallied their 3rd run of the game.
“Portland does a good job of hitting. They attacked my mistakes and got plays on it,” said Konishi.
After UO scored its last run of the game in the 5th inning, SJSU kept the Ducks at bay for the rest of the game.
In the 8th and 9th inning, the Spartans picked up the energy.
Freshman infielder Nico Malbrough scored in the 8th off of a single by Blake Berry.
Freshman outfielder Brandon Peterson then scored off of a single hit by Shimashita in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game at 3 a piece.
“It just felt really good, obviously, to get a win and to have some high intensity in the last inning,” junior first basemen Nick Knecht said. “No matter how big the situation or whatever, just treat it like every at bat and it’s just playing baseball.”
Shimashita advanced to second on a throwing error and then advanced to third because of a failed pickoff attempt. Knecht hit a walk-off bunt to bring Shimashita home, 4-3.
“It’s just playing baseball. It just kinda feels like every other bat, no matter how big the situation is or whatever,” said Knecht.
Though the Spartans beat the Ducks, the team struggled to win again after the losing streak because of player injuries.
“We lost Johnny Mendoza and then we lose Kellen Strahm who’s our best player,” said Sanfilippo. “We’ve been really struggling to
replace those two guys. You end up playing a lot of inexperienced guys so you don’t necessarily know what you can count on.”
Sanfilippo had to adjust the lineup to compensate for the absence of Mendoza and Strahm.
The Spartans look to use their win against the Ducks to gain momentum going into their three-game series at San Diego State this Friday.
“The way that we won helps tremendously,” said Sanfilippo. “To be able to win against Oregon — a really quality team like that — and then do it in the fashion that we did is definitely a momentum we hope to carry into the weekend against a very good San Diego State team.”