By Kavin Mistry:
Coming into the season, the vibe around the San Jose State team was all about having a high-powered offense, yet here we are in day two of the season and the Spartans were one double away from being no-hit.
But give credit where credit is due. The UCLA pitching staff is electric. Today Bruins’ starter Jake Bird was lights out on the mound, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. The most impressive part of his outing was his efficiency (85 pitches in seven innings).
While Spartans’ starter Matt Brown was reeling on the mound trying to find his control, Bird was sending away Spartans without a chance to get comfortable in the batters box.
“We didn’t make adjustments very well,” head coach Jason Hawkins said postgame. “As a hitter in the box you have to do those things and that was very disappointing. I think we were tired too.”
Last night SJSU made the necessary adjustments late and it got the team back in the game, but today — by the time the Spartans got their first hit — they were already down by nine.
After the game, coach Hawkins alluded to the fact that the team is putting themselves behind the eight ball by giving up 10 runs, which doesn’t give the offense much of a chance to make a comeback.
In order for the Spartans to salvage one game out of this series they will need Shane Timmons, Josh Nashed and Kellen Strahm to step up, all of which have yet to register a hit this season.
Hawkins also said they are using these first two games as a good learning example for his team. He knows how much pressure is on his team to win and his players know that as well.
Along with Brown on the mound today, some new faces got their first taste of Division I college baseball: Jackson Cunningham, Jeremy Polon and Cameron Keup all had tough outings on the rubber. The best of the three was Keup, who came in as mop-up duty during the seventh inning.
Tomorrow SJSU will have to bounce back and try to take one game in Southern California before returning to San Jose for their first game of the season at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night against BYU.
First pitch tomorrow is at 1 p.m. and is the only televised game of the series.