SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — San Jose State erupted for six runs in the eighth inning to turn a one-run deficit into an 8-3 lead and the Spartans went on to beat Cal Poly 8-5 in the second game of a three-game non-conference baseball series Saturday night before 1,217 inside Baggett Stadium.
The decision evened the series at a game apiece, setting up the rubber match Sunday at 1 o'clock.
Cal Poly, losing for the first time in 16 games when leading after six innings, fell to 17-8 while San Jose State improved to 9-17. Cal Poly, which had its four-game winning streak snapped, won the series opener 7-4 Friday night.
San Jose State parlayed three hits, four walks, a wild pitch and two Mustang errors into its six-run eighth-inning rally. Joe Stefanki doubled to knock in the final run of the frame.
Cal Poly, which scored its first three runs of the game in the fifth inning on RBI singles by Alex McKenna and Brett Barbier plus a sacrifice fly by Josh George, added two more in the ninth on a run-scoring triple by McKenna and an RBI single by Kyle Marinconz.
The Mustangs went on to bring the potential game-tying run to the plate with one out in the ninth, but a grounder to second base and a strikeout ended the threat and the game.
Mustang starter Jarred Zill pitched well enough to win, allowing two unearned runs and four hits over six innings, and Austin Dondanville tossed a scoreless seventh, but six pitchers who followed Dondanville couldn't maintain the 3-2 advantage.
Spencer Howard (2-1) gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth and absorbed the loss while the win went to southpaw Zach Wallace (1-2), the second of three San Jose State pitchers used in the game.
Both teams collected nine hits.
Stefanki and David Campbell both had three hits and an RBI for the Spartans while Barbier (pictured above) produced three hits and one RBI for Cal Poly. McKenna added a pair of run-scoring hits for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly committed four errors for the fourth time this season, allowing San Jose State to score three unearned runs.
Sophomore right-hander Erich Uelmen (4-0, 2.76 ERA) will be on the mound for Cal Poly in Sunday's series finale.